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January 28, 2011 > Movie Review: No Strings Attached

Movie Review: No Strings Attached

By Jennifer Gau

"No Strings Attached" is a silly, giggle-fest, chick flick. It appears the director, Ivan Reitman, enjoyed postulating what it would be like if they took the unattractive qualities of having a relationship out, and only kept those that are attractive. Some of the unattractive qualities being: arguments, jealousy, expectations, and falling so hard in love that it hurts. Obviously, the characters will have a great time and be the envy of their close friends. But how long could it last?

Emma (Natalie Portman) is independent and career driven. She has built up a strong brick wall to keep out anything that might emotionally damage her (i.e. relationships). Instead of all the drama and stress that comes with a man, she just needs someone to take away the cold and loneliness in her life for an hour or so. Her lucky friend-with-benefits is Adam (Ashton Kutcher) who is going through a lot in his life and doesn't need another girl to stab him in the back.

The movie is a modern version of "When Harry Met Sally" that shows guys and girls cannot just be friends. Emotions always end up getting in the way. There are a few similar ties to other comedies such as "American Pie" with an awkward Dad character. Kevin Klein plays the father of Adam who parties more often than he does. Adam is a guy who has a good heart and just wants to share it with someone special. Emma is spunky, funny, and sometimes cold-hearted.

It is different seeing Natalie Portman in such a light-hearted role. She's normally ruling empires, fighting in revolutions or dealing with deep internal battles. On the other hand, Kutcher fulfills the expectations with his usual goofy charm and makes a good on-screen couple with Portman.

As with most romantic comedies, the mood never gets too serious. There is always something random that lightens the aura as if everyone had Attention Deficit Disorder. It's cute how Emma and Adam handle their situation but the storyline is nothing new. This film is entertaining but lacks surprise and substance. Do not be shocked to find you already know what happens.

Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes
Rated: R

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