Two friends can be friends with benefits without having feelings for each other, right? Well that’s the dilemma in No Strings Attached that stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as Dr. Emma Kurtzman and Adam Franklin, two people who hook up for sex whenever they please.
Both Adam and Alex agree to rules that include that if either one falls for each other, they call the whole thing off. The film was touted as a romantic comedy, but the first thirty minutes seemed more soft core porn with the rest of the film feeling like a decent drama with some comedy peppered in.
This isn’t to say the film is bad, the movie pokes fun at a lot of society as it is today. The television show that Adam works on is an obvious satire of shows like Glee and movies like High School Musical, while Adam’s dad portrays the ever-growing trend of older men trying to reclaim their youth by dating younger women. These small nuances help the film relate to the audience better and with Portman as the lead after her success with The Black Swan, the film should do well in the box office.
This film has a fantastic cast of supporting characters that include Shira (Mindy Kaling), Wallace (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Dr. Metzner (Cary Elwes), Lucy (Lake Bell) and Adam’s father Alvin (Kevin Kline). The supporting cast almost outshines the two leads as they are given some of the better one liners and help the flow of the story move a lot faster.
My main problem with the film is that the characters really have no history. We know that Emma doesn’t like relationships and can take care of herself and that Adam works as an assistant on a television show, but we never understand how they really got to be who they are. A majority of the film revolves around the sex and that they both try to work around not wanting to admit they are falling for each other. At a run time of 110 minutes, some of the filler scenes could have easily been cut with more meat added to the characters.
Overall the film isn’t groundbreaking by any means. No Strings Attached is a fun film and will be enjoyed by couples and young women. Kutcher, who I never thought was that good of an actor, actually portrays a wide range of emotion in the film and I was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t drag the film down. I’ll probably rent this movie when it comes out on Blu-ray later this year, and if you see it in theaters you will get your moneys worth.
Final Grade: 7.5/10