No Strings Attached – Movie Review
By Anne Brodie Jan 21, 2011, 21:59 GMT
A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it\'s not long before they learn that they want something more. ...more
Natalie Portman’s antidote to the Black Swan! If dark, grim camp cloys, then cutesy, lusty and fun definitely removes the taste.
Portman is Emma a medical intern who claims to have the same allergic reaction to love that some people have to peanuts. Her throat swells; she’s constricted and can’t breathe. But she throws caution to the wind when she meets Adam, a childhood friend played by Ashton Kutcher whom she hasn’t seen since they humiliated themselves at university, by failing at being cool.
The two of them jump into bed for a quick snog and then attempt the impossible - an emotion-free, sex buddies kind of relationship. Emma believes she can beat the odds. Adam sort of does. And now you know the entire movie.
However, there is a particularly charming cast of supporting actors that helps motor this modern tale along – Olivia Thirlby as Emma’s old fashioned sister, British sensation Ophelia Lovibond (yes) as Adam’s ex, now dating his father (Kevin Kline) and allergic to old people, Greenberg’s Greta Gerwig as Emma’s best pal and The Office’ Mindy Kaling as the voice of perpetual doom, George Clooney’s real life -ex Talia Balsam as Emma’s sexually freewheeling mother and Lake Bell puts in a smashingly comic performance as a TV producer and potential Adam love interest.
Reitman’s name surely drew this interesting bunch and they do a swell job.
There are moments of mirth as when Adam makes Emma a Period mix tape – I’ve Got the World on a String, for instance, to help the female roommates suffer along with synchronized PMS together.
Portman shows some comic flair; her meltdown scenes are unexpectedly funny and BIG. In fact she becomes really big and seriously overshadows Kutcher. He seems to be in awe of Portman and tends to pull back, thereby allowing the film to make him a pretty face and rear end more than he would perhaps like.
I will never understand why women in films don’t carry purses, though. Women do not prance around hands free and able to jump into one physical adventure after another - they are loaded down with heavy purses. Purses are part of the burden of womanhood, and most directors miss that. And cell phones don’t just show up out of the blue. Where do they hide them? Not in their form fitting dresses. It’s a small quibble but come on!
And why would Lovibond’s character hook up with Kline’s character when she can barely share an elevator with “old” people? Cute scene, though!
Reitman celebrates Los Angeles art installations, funky bistros and local spots and a kind of SoCal hipster lifestyle; it’s an interesting aspect of the film that helps raise it above the usual ho-hum January romantic comedy refuse heap.
It’s also keeping in the zeitgeist to have Kutcher’s character writing a Glee-like television series; it’s all in the here and now although none of it will matter in a couple of years when it will seem dated.
Visit the movie database for more information.
Written by Elizabeth Meriwether, Michael Samonek
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Opens: Jan 21
MPAA: Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CAshton Kutcher Biography -
Ashton Kutcher Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesKevin Kline Biography -
Kevin Kline Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesLake Bell Biography -
Lake Bell Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesNatalie Portman Biography -
Natalie Portman Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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