No Strings Attached

Posted: May 20, 2011 9:17 am in New Release Review

No Strings Attached

R – 108 Min – 2011

Check Out The Trailer

Starring Ashton Kutcher as Adam and Natalie Portman as Emma, “No Strings Attached” is about a guy and girl who try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.

There seems to be a slew of these types of movies out there (umm “Love and Other Drugs” anyone?) One of which is coming out soon called “Friends With Benefits” and is starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. I could have easily gotten the two of these mixed up with each other if they came out at the same time, being that it is pretty much the same exact plot. But like I always say, there’s always two movies that come out around the same time that are a lot alike, and so then there’s always the one that comes out on top. I believe with the two filling the main roles in “Friends With Benefits”, that will be very easily done over this one.

The movie starts out showing our two protagonists as adolescents at summer camp, amongst a large number of couples making out. The two are awkwardly sitting next to each other making conversation, followed by a shot down attempt by Adam to make a move. From there it shoots into the future where they have a similar meeting in college. And then into the present where guess what, they have another awkward meeting. The gist of this movie was obvious, even if I went into the movie with no knowledge of the plot. With a few funny scenes sprinkled in among the countless predictable scenes, it really wasn’t enough to make it a stand out film. I mean, everyone knows that they’re going to have sex the entire movie and he’s going to fall in love with her, which will push her away, until she realizes she lost him, so they get back together. C’mon.

Ashton Kutcher hasn’t strayed too far from his break out role of Kelso on “That 70’s Show”. He has gotten more serious though, not as silly like he was when he played Kelso. Honestly, if they had switched the casting, and Ashton were in the up coming “Friends With Benefits”, that would have been a great set up (since Mila and Ashton played love interests in “That 70’s Show”). All in all, I generally enjoy watching Ashton’s films, and he was funny in this one. Natalie Portman really needed this movie in my opinion. After the “Black Swan” fiasco, the public needed to see her as a funny actress. And she is pretty funny in this. One of my favorite scenes involves her bragging about how smart she is, saying “Sometimes my neck hurts cause my brain is so big”.

The supporting actors were pretty much hit or miss. Adam’s two friends, Eli and Wallace, were played by Jake Johnson and Ludacris. Jake is a very funny actor (my favorite scene involves him storming up to Adam’s room while him and Emma are having sex and shouting “I can’t focus on my porn, with all this real sex going on”), however, I’m really interested in why the world thinks that Ludacris is a good actor! I really don’t like his roles in the movies he’s been in, hes just a bad actor. Stick to rapping dude. Kevin Kline played Adam’s dad, and he was a real comedic treat in this film. I haven’t seen much with this guy (last I saw him, he played Dreyfus in the 2006 remake of “The Pink Panther”), but what I have seen he’s so funny. Mindy Kaling played her role exactly like she plays her role in “The Office”, nuff said there. Cary Elwes (who will live in infamy as Westley from “The Princess Bride”) played a doctor, and the whole movie I was fighting with the fact that he looked so familiar but I just couldn’t place it, until I remembered “The Princess Bride”, then laughter ensued. And finally, Lake Bell. I think she is pretty, but I just couldn’t stand her in this movie. It was like nails on a chalkboard. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

Aside from the few and far between funny scenes, the movie was far too predictable and rather annoying for my liking. The movie is a really soft R rating though, which is actually really nice to see that Hollywood can actually make a movie raunchy without excessive “F” words and nudity. I’d just say wait for the next movie following this same story line. It’s bound to be better than this one.


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