Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: No Strings Attached

Grade: C-

Adam just found out that his dad is sleeping with his ex-girlfriend so he goes on a bit of a drinking binge. He wakes up in the morning at the home of Emma, who he’s met a couple times. They end up having sex and Emma comes up with the suggestion that the two of them keep their relationship purely physical, which both of them think is a great idea. They come up with some ground rules; no jealousy, no fighting, no flowers, no nick names etc... The problem is, after a while, Adam begins to develop strong feelings for Emma, who is resistant because she seems almost terrified of a true relationship and is determined to stay single.

The plot and story line of No Strings Attached is a pretty basic and tried-and-true almost color by numbers romantic comedy. However, I am glad to say that I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie, I really thought it was going to be bad. The characters in the movie manage to make the movie rather enjoyable and really funny. The two main characters are pretty cliché but their friends are interesting and hilarious. The first hour or so of the movie is actually genuinely funny with some really great moments in it. After that it slips into your typical romantic comedy but still manages to slip in some good laughs here and there.

Natalie Portman (Black Swan, V for Vendetta) plays Emma in the movie. My admiration for Natalie Portman keeps growing and she was the main reason I agreed to see this movie. She did not disappoint, she was very enjoyable and very funny at times as well. Ashton Kutcher (Killers, Valentine’s Day) plays Adam. I usually really dislike Ashton Kutcher and just about everything he does. However, this is the first thing he’s done since That 70’s Show where I didn’t want to punch him in the face. He was actually pretty decent in this movie. Greta Gerwig (Greenberg) and Mindy Kaling (TV’s The Office) plays Emma’s friends Patrice and Shira and Jake Johnson (Paper Heart) and Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges (RocknRolla) play Adam’s friends Eli and Wallace. These are the characters that really helped move the movie along and really helped keep the laughs coming. Lake Bell (It’s Complicated, Pride and Glory) plays Lucy, a co-worker of Adam’s. She wasn’t in the movie a lot, but when she was I couldn’t stop laughing, her character is one of the best parts of the movie. Kevin Kline (The Pink Panther, A Fish Called Wanda) pops up in the movie as Adam’s father. Kline is hilarious in this movie and was a total surprise.

No Strings Attached may be a by-the-book formulaic romantic comedy but it delivers some genuine laughs. It is a fun and funny movie and makes for a great date night movie. I love that they are coming out with more R-rated romantic comedies lately. There isn’t much new in the world or rom-coms but this way they can get some great laughs.

Great quote: “Wow… It looks like it’s coming right at me.”

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