No Strings Attached

For crying out loud…get a room!

I’m sure the idea of having a relationship with no strings attached sounds like a great idea. Especially if you’re young, beautiful (or handsome) and enjoying successful careers. But you know what happens when Hollywood gets a hold of that kind of situation? They cast Ashton Kutcher & Natalie Portman as the beautiful people, throw in the right amount of sexual innuendo, give them some ridiculously entertaining friends and VIOLA! A true Hollywood romance for this generation. What this movie fails to achieve is any semblance to reality. Not that friends with benefits can’t happen. I’m sure it happens all the time. But in the case of a Hollywood film, it rarely happens that a couple as attractive as this one remains on the outskirts of love. It’s gonna happen. You know it, Hollywood knows it and everyone involved knows it. Love WILL happen. So as long as you know this going in, you’re gonna be okay and you can just enjoy the ride.

And this ride is…well…cute enough. With Natalie Portman winning an Oscar for “Black Swan,” it makes sense that she took a role like this one after THAT dark fare. It’s predictable and uneventful. She looks great in it. She flashes that sideways smile and carries herself as a doctor in training well enough. But her performance is never quite believable. And the fact that she is falling for Kutcher, who seems to be Hollywood’s go-too guy when it comes to small romantic comedies like this, is a little far-fetched. She plays Emma, an uptight 20-something who is avoiding love. But in order to release some tension, she turns to Adam (Kutcher), a one-time camp-mate who has grown up to work on a television series as a production assistant. They continually run into one another (another Hollywood stereotype) and so, after one drunken night, they agree to have unadulterated sex with no complications and…no falling in love! And so, the stage is set. But when will they realize that they love one another and that the sex is secondary? Who knows? Who cares? Not me…because it’s gonna happen…right? Hollywood would never allow such a cute couple to complicate their lives with “love,” right?

Wrong.

Inevitably they DO fall in love and they DO figure it out but is it too late?

So many questions, so little time. Along the way, we meet their friends (Greta Gerwig, Ludacris & Lake Bell), who are all incredibly witty and it’s usually when they are around that the movie sparkles a little brighter. Not that Portman & Kutcher aren’t adorable, because they are. They are cute together and watching them ham it up onscreen is fun enough, but this is a standard romantic romp movie and there really isn’t much to set it apart from hundreds of others like it. Well…other than Portman, who is definitely a class above this silliness. But beyond that, this is a cutesy movie with no meat to it at all. It’s all sugar and dissolves almost immediately after digestion. If that’s for you, then you’ll enjoy this movie well enough. But if you like a little more to tear into, this film will bore you to tears. In my case…it did a little of both.

Overall Rating: C

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