Friends with Benefits addresses the clichéd romantic comedy formula head on by repeatedly mocking it, but using many of its devices. One of the common romantic comedy pitfalls mocked is portraying New York in an unrealistic manner. As Cole and I sat in the theater, we couldn’t help but comment on the film’s inaccuracies. The first shot of the non-existent “GQ building” (because showing Rockefeller Center is apparently more impressive than a floor or two at Conde Nast) and the sudden flashes from Manhattan to Brooklyn back to Manhattan were jarring because I knew they weren’t real. This is done for non-New Yorkers, who don’t know how unrealistic it is for you to take your lunch break in Soho if your office is in Midtown. As someone who lives here, I understand that if you were trying to sell the idea of New York City, both an outdoor bar on the Promenade in Brooklyn and a view from a skyscraper in Midtown would be equally amazing. I also know that’s a lot of subway riding for one night. Friends with Benefits is not the first movie to warp the realities of living in New York City, though, and romantic comedies never pay much attention to reality anyway. If you’re asking an audience to pay $13 to sit in a theater for two hours, they’re going to want more than average looking people going on dates and letting a relationship grow organically without any crazy pretext. They’re also going to want to see these people falling in love in Central Park and beautiful downtown apartments with balconies, not in bland, box-like cafes in Midtown. It’s all about creating a reality that someone wants to get lost in for a couple of hours, and the real New York just isn’t romantic enough for that.