Movie Review: No Strings Attached (2011)

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Comedy


Emma (Natalie Portman) first met Adam (Ashton Kutcher) in summer camp.  Adam told Emma that his parents were getting divorced, and then tried to make a move on her.  They meet again at a college party, Emma inexplicably asks Adam to her dad’s funeral.  Fifteen years later, they meet again, she’s a doctor, he’s a production assistant, on a “Glee” like tv show, who dreams of being a writer.  Adam has just learned that his girlfriend Vanessa (Ophelia Lovibond) is sleeping with his father, Alvin (Kevin Kline) a former big time tv star.  Adam’s heart is shattered, he wakes up drunk and naked in Emma’s house and meets her roommates, Patrice (Greta Gerwig) Shira (Mindy Kalling) and Guy. (Guy Branum) After much embarrassment, Adam finally makes it to Emma’s room, where they share a quickie, and decide to become friends with benefits. Things start getting intense for Emma after Adam makes a mix tape for her during “that time of the month.” Emma goes to dinner with Adam his father and Vanessa.  Emma is generally supportive and they leave the dinner happy.  Then Adam asks Emma on a date, she reluctantly agrees, but when she senses that he’s falling in love with her, she pushes him away and ends the friendship.  Do Adam and Emma ever get back together?  Do they at least salvage their friendship?

I liked this movie.  It wasn’t the hippest, or edgiest movie, but it was much funnier than Friends with Benefits, and laughs are what’s supposed to count in a romantic comedy, isn’t it?  I laughed out loud at least twice during no Strings Attached and had a lot of lesser laughs, whereas the second half of Friends With Benefits was downright maudlin.  I think the reason I liked No  Strings Attached was that the characters were likeable, the characters in Friends With Benefits weren’t especially likable.  Natalie Portman isn’t especially known for her comedic talent, but she more than acquits herself in this role, she gets to cut loose a little and really have fun with Kutcher.  Potman is also I better actress than Mila Kunis, and Kutcher is a better actor than Timberlake.  Kutcher is surprisingly good as the sensitive friend, who really wants to fall in love. I never thought he’d pull this role off, but he did quite well.  The supporting cast was very good, especially Kevin Kline as the forever on the prowl tv star.

No Strings Attached.  Played me like a violin.


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