No Strings Attached

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No Strings Attached




3/5 Stars


Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) have been just friends since high school. After a drunken phone call one night and impromptu sex the next morning, they decide to 'assist' each other with their sexual needs. It starts out fun, but stone-cold Emma's futile attempts to keep an emotional distance between them leaves Adam wondering if he'll ever have more than just her body. 


Lots of sex between two very hot people is half the battle won when making an entertaining movie.


Talented, likeable stars and a stellar supporting cast make it just that much better.

As far as run-of-the-mill romcoms go, this one has the best of the ingredients. It's funny, sweet and smart. Nothing more, nothing less.

I'm really glad Natalie Portman made this movie. After her brilliant, batshit-crazy performance in Black Swan, it's lovely to see her with her marbles again, flexing those comedic chops. She summons her emotions like they are on speed-dial. Portman adds dimension and interest to the rather conventional character of Emma.   

However, the lead actors walk a fine line with their chemistry. While Kutcher and Portman are totally at ease with each other, they seem to fit better as friends than lovers. So it's hard to imagine them as more than "friends with benefits", which isn't exactly ideal since that's the 'big question' throughout the film.

Mindy Kaling (best known as The Office's kooky Kelly Kapoor) tops the class of the supporting cast. Her spectacularly dry performance as Emma's housemate Shira offsets the schmaltzy bits perfectly. But Kevin Kline is a close second as Adam's creepy dad.

These entertaining performances are made possible by a script laden with hilarious and often crude lines. The scene with the "period mix" is particularly cringeworthy.

No Strings Attached never gets too soppy, sentimental or serious and is actually reminiscent of a f*** buddy relationship - it offers you the stimulation you crave minus the mental or emotional tax.


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