Movie #273 No Strings Attached
I’ll put it bluntly: this movie wasn’t that good. Though I haven’t seen its more recent counterpart with Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake (Friends with Benefits), the potential of this film alone was huge. It could have asked questions that haven’t been asked in recent formulaic romantic comedies. No Strings Attached tries to explore the dynamic between two friends who mutually agree to use each other for sex and the potential feelings that arise from it. Apart from the interesting logline, everything else is your predictable romantic comedy. In fact, our lead character played by Ashton Kutcher never even suppresses that love he starts to feel. Instead, from the second he starts to fall for Natalie Portman’s character, the movie turns from possibly interesting to painfully obvious. It’s no help that there is almost no talent in this film with the terrible supporting cast. This is not an insult to the cast members, but merely the material they are in. Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Kevin Kline, and Mindy Kaling are completely wasted in a mindless film that really isn’t all that funny. Even legendary director Ivan Reitman doesn’t deserve much credit here. The only people who do, thankfully, are the leads. With magnetic chemistry and, of course, wonderful faces to look at, both Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher shine on screen. They commit to their characters, the former much more than the latter, and perhaps even develop some dimension to impossible people I could really care less about. No Strings Attached is the sort of film I would love to see directed by someone like Kevin Smith. A film that could explore the complexities, pitfalls, and even benefits of the modern romance without prescribing a set solution or trying to market the age-old version of love teenage girls swoon over magazine after magazine after a long hard day in middle school.