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No strings (or plot) attached

January 28, 2011

Watching Adam (Ashton Kutcher) and Emma (Natalie Portman) have sex for the first time was very uncomfortable. Very. Uncomfortable.  So why did I actually enjoy “No Strings Attached?” 

Admittedly it does not have a lot going for it at first. The plot is not that original as an over-worked, under-sexed medical student decides that she wants to have sex without a relationship, except her and the provider of aforementioned sex — gasp! — fall in love.

Also, there are some characters that just made me uncomfortable.  One of Adam’s friends in the movie makes sexist, woman-hating jokes throughout the film that are spoken in a deadpan that I am sure were meant to be funny, but really just came across as creepy.

I also find it no coincidence that Kutcher plays a struggling writer that cannot break into the business and is stuck working for a T.V. high school musical. I think the screenwriter was reflecting on her own experiences and many failed attempts at creating meaningful dialogue.

However, the movie had its moments. Kutcher comes across as sweet and funny in his usual goofy “That 70s Show”-style, and Portman is a good match for him on screen. It is also uproariously funny at times.  Lake Bell plays a socially handicapped fast talker whose zany dialogue really stole the show for me. 

Emma’s friend Patrice had only a few lines in the movie, but her delivery was flawless enough that my friends and I kept repeating them after we left the movie without really being able to match her tone. 

I felt the movie really relied too heavily on the supporting characters for the “comedy” part of the “romantic comedy.”  Emma and Adam’s love was cute, but the supporting characters were so funny that I almost lost track of the couple near the end.

I would say it was good, cute even, but not really worth the ticket price (and I saw the afternoon matinee).

Assistant News Editor

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