No Strings Attached is a charming little movie with great performances by both leads, but it left me wanting a little more. It has such a likable cast and such a fun story, that they really had no reason to mess up. By mess up I mean making the movie barely above average. It’s a funny movie, don’t get me wrong, but it felt like it had a little more potential and they just kind of got lazy.
The story of No Strings Attached is fairly simple. Two friends decide to be sex buddies instead of having any sort of serious relationship. The leads are played by Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, and the rest of the cast is mainly forgettable besides the great one known as Ludacris! Anyways, Portman plays Emma and Kutcher plays Adam. They both meet several times through middle school, high school and college until one day they run into each other and decide maybe they should meet up and hang out. Fast forward to a somewhat spoiler of Adam’s dad having sex with Adams ex girlfriend. Once Adam is broken the news he decides to call everyone in his phone until he finds a girl that will have sex with him, fast forward again to Adam waking up in Emma’s apartment naked. With no clue to how he got there. They end up talking about how Adam came over incredibly drunk and passed out. This is when they first have sex. After that they decide to make a deal and use each other for sex.
From this point the story goes into the predictable. If anyone can tell me they didn’t see the ending coming, then I think they really need to watch more movies. The movie is filled with some funny lines and it really feels genuine thanks to Kutcher and Portman. Both deliver some great performances.
There were several things that really worked for me in this movie. First, being Kutcher and Portman. Each one brought their own brand of comedy to the table. Ashton was the one looking more for love and a real relationship. Portman took control as the one who just wanted to have sex. She kept giving Kutchers character crap for wanting anything more than a sexual relationship. She completely outcasts herself from any sort of emotion baggage and it was all really believable. It was great seeing Portman going from such an intense role in Black Swan to a more easily going, relaxed role in No Strings Attached. She showed that she has what it takes when it comes to a romantic comedy. Another thing I enjoyed was the fact that it was rated R. For some reason, I just can’t get behind PG13 romantic comedies. When they get an R, they are able to make it a lot more realistic which really helps you connect with the characters. Besides, how on earth could you make a movie about sex with a PG13 rating? Don’t get me wrong, some movies can get away fine with a PG13, but this type of movie would have only suffered with a lesser rating then it earned.
Now on the flip side, I did have some problems with the movie. The story was fine, but I felt that the ending was kind of sloppy. Certain events happen so fast that I really felt like they didn’t give you enough time to soak it in. Another thing that I agreed on with a friend was the fact that almost ALL the funny parts were from the trailers. Usually, the trailer gives you a few laughs to hook you and then pleases you with even more. I felt that almost everything I laughed at came directly from the red band trailer. I don’t recall any other jokes besides those. I also felt that this movie was a little more lighthearted then I expected. I can’t really bash on the film for that, but I guess that I was just expecting something a little raunchier.
Overall, No Strings Attached is an above average romantic comedy with two wonderful leads. I’ve always been a fan of both Kutcher and Portman, so it was fun seeing them share some screen time. Unfortunately, the movie is very cut and dry with very few surprises. If you’re fine with laughing again at everything you saw in the trailers, then this one shouldn’t be too bad for you, but if you’re expecting a lot of new stuff, then you will be dissappointed.
No Strings Attached – 7.5/10