REVIEW: NO STRINGS ATTACHED
SYNOPSIS: In this comedy, Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) are life-long friends who almost ruin everything by having sex one morning. In order to protect their friendship, they make a pact to keep their relationship strictly “no strings attached.” "No strings" means no jealousy, no expectations, no fighting, no flowers, no baby voices. It means they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, in whatever public place they want, as long as they don't fall in love. The question becomes- who's going to fall first? And can their friendship survive?
Ivan Reitman is at it again. What a career, what a resume, what a contributor to cinematic history, both past and present. Just the fact that he is the director of this film is enough to conclude that it is pretty good, and it is. Ivan’s specialty is comedies and this one does not fall short. But this is not your silly slapstick, stupid humor, or even over the top raunchy humor. This is your good ol’ fashioned straight forward humor with a strong human element to it. In other words, Ivan has a way of keeping the viewer in touch with the human aspects of the characters, even in the comedic moments, making them and the movie as a whole that much more real. Although I’ve got to add that there are some moments of, what I like to call, shock humor that might catch you off guard and they are good. Needless to say, given the subject matter, the story and the characters are very modern and it all paints a relatively accurate picture of the status quo condition of people and relationships. There are several different types of relationships depicted in this film and we can probably relate to or at least recognize all of them. The title couple is composed of a relationship-phobe and a hopeless romantic. Almost every time on the big screen the man plays the relationship-phobe, but not in this case which makes the movie that much more interesting and different. Natalie Portman superbly plays the role of Emma, the phobe. Natalie is really starting to separate herself from the rest of the pack. She isn’t the little kid actress anymore. Even in a movie of this genre, she totally out shines the rest of the cast. Now when it comes to Ashton Kutcher’s performance as Adam, Priscilla and I disagree. I say that even though Ashton did a good job as always, he seems to be the same guy in every movie he does. There is very little to differentiate between the various characters that Ashton has played. Priscilla says, “I disagree on Kutcher’s performance. I think he didn’t over play the goofy factor. I feel he played the ‘heart on his sleeve’ kind of guy, perfect for this movie; sensitive guy vs. the guys’ guy.” It’s all good, we just agree to disagree. Another thing I’ve noticed about Ashton is that he has had a damn good list of leading ladies to work with: the late but great Brittany Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Amanda Peet, combo of Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner, Tara Reid, Amy Smart, Zoe Saldana, and Katherine Heigl to name a few. Wow, that is impressive.
Two quality supporting role contributors were Kevin Kline and Lake Bell. Kevin plays Adam’s celebrity father Alvin and he nails this narcissistic character. I’ve always thought of Lake Bell as being a very sexy, exotic woman. Well, after seeing her play the role of Lucy, Adam’s coworker, my image of her received a major dent. Let me be more specific, my attraction to her was dented while her acting talent got a new paint job. It is almost freaky scary how well she played this neurotic character. Priscilla got a kick out of recognizing Talia Balsam who plays Sandra, Emma’s mom. An interesting fact about Talia is that once upon a time she was married to George Clooney. Anyway, you know those big climactic one liners in romantic movies like Jerry Macquire’s “you complete me” and “you had me at hello” or like As Good As It Gets’ “you make me want to be a better man” (one of my favs)? There is a pretty good one in this movie too. Not quite as good as these others I mentioned but memorable nonetheless, as is this movie.
By Cine Marcos
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Director: Ivan Reitman
Writer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Genre: Comedy Romance
Duration: 1hr 48mins
Staring: Ashton Kutcher
Producer: Jeffrey Clifford
Distributor: PARAMOUNT PICTURES
R Sexual Content, Profanity, Nudity
Release Date: January 21, 2011
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