Film review: Natalie Portman in fun confection

2011-04-04 00:00

SURELY I wasn't the only one surprised to see Natalie Portman alongside Ashton Kutcher? Surely, following up her Oscar-winning, research/preparation-intensive role for Black Swan, with a romcom alongside Mr Demi Moore is, er … like, a downgrade on the PR ratings?

Apparently not. I'll more than likely regret saying this, but No Strings Attached is disarmingly fun.

The romcom is written by 20-something Elizabeth Meriwether and directed by 64-year-old Ivan Reitman. Adam (Kutcher) is an assistant on a High School Musical-type TV show; and Emma (Portman) is a young med student who refuses a serious relationship. Instead, she offers a deal to Adam: that they "use each other for sex, at all hours of the day or night, and nothing else".

Of course Adam is game at the start — name one Hollywood lead actor who wouldn't be at such a proposal? But 30 minutes into the movie, it's clear Adam is after more than just a casual rendezvous at random hours. Soon he's pulling some serious charms: making Emma a special CD mix of songs for when she has her period and being a general gentleman most of the time.

Kutcher understands intuitively that relaxation is the key in this rom-com, where he's basically pretending to be himself. You would think he's the Oscar winner here. This is where everything that's good about this movie hinges: the easy warmth between Kutcher and Portman.

The plot is superfluous, and the story is an easy ride, steered by director Reitman's sure hand, and we know what we're in for.

The support cast is fantastic: Kevin Kline as Adam's doofus film-star dad, Greta Gerwig and Olivia Thirlby as Emma's go-to confidantes and Lake Bell as the colleague-with-crush-on-Adam.

As predictable rom-coms go, this is one that stands out and deserves some credibility. ***

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.