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Friends with benefits


Friendship for pleasure

Two hipsters swear on a computer-generated Holy Bible picture: all they want from each other is sex. The story suggests God does not enforce hipster oaths: That the iPad generation cannot distinguish the thing & its image. On to the sex, the male cannot distinguish pleasure from pain when women start screaming. He compares sex to tennis: perhaps he considers contact immoral. He is a liberal, a West-Coast hipster (unlike East-Coast hipsters, he is not a commercial for anemia & hepatitis), & insecure about his ass. – He moves to NYC & enjoys his first flashmob.

The girl never had a family; her mother keeps bragging she does not know the father; she advertises 70’s promiscuity, which she practices into her old & unflattering age. Then she congratulates her daughter about imitating her. One suspects the comic poet is not altogether honest here… Mother & daughter show sex without & with the beauty. Everything you need to know resides in this difference; but this comedy only shows sex without beauty.

Comedy cannot mean what it says, because it lacks serious scenes. (See the comic image of the poet: the woman-worshipping, homosexual sports writer who says nobody wants to have sex with Mr. Obama & corrupts beautiful models with flattery.) The girl finds guys who have sex with her, then she starts crying, wondering whether she does not have a problem. Then the boy turns into her shrink, assuring her that she is good at sex. This is probably her story, then. He takes her to California to show her the other kind of liberal: wealthy, sensitive, cowardly. He fails basic math, likes boys’ puberty music, & does not think plane pilots are awesome.

The sarcastic repartee between protagonists & extras suggests young liberals are of a kind. Indeed, the girl keeps finding guys who want to have sex with her; & keeps laughing about it. But jokes about haphazard sex are ironic, suggesting the internet generation cannot distinguish lover & beloved: youths therefore cannot know themselves. As for the old, the girl’s mother strikingly resembles the boy’s: she got a divorce & abandoned the children; & the father, a gentle, intelligent, wealthy liberal – old money – is dying of Alzheimer. This is the dramatic self-destruction of liberalism.

The predictable problem of the plot is that she cannot attach him. With her, males soon remember themselves. The male of the species apparently wants to be himself by himself, even liberals, & therefore thinks the female burdensome. She is the image of that male: to be unlike her mother, she comically imitates the father she does not know. She shows democratic morality requires making women more like men.

For fans of Justin Timberlake