You fight like a hamster! – “No Strings Attached” – 2.5/5
Thanks to Resident Connections for providing us residents with free movie screening passes! We got to see “No Strings Attached” an entire five hours before the rest of Chicago, and the theater was super packed. This made for a lively audience, which is always a great thing to have during a romantic comedy.
“No Strings Attached” stars recent Golden Globe Best Actress Natalie Portman as Emma, in a role that diverges a ton from “Black Swan”. Opposite her is Ashton Kutcher as Adam, in a not-too-surprising cute/quirky role. They meet in a series of serendipitous, random, rather nonsensical series of events, and quickly decide to have a unique relationship setup: one that is purely physical, devoid of romance, and of course, has no strings attached.
I think this movie just proves how versatile an actress Portman is. Coming straight from psychotic “Black Swan”, Portman is easily able to slip into the goofy, sweet character of Emma. (I liked how Emma was a doctor, pulling 80-hour weeks, by the way.) The rest of the movie unfolds in prime chick-flick style (our movie audience was maybe 80-20 girls to guys), with a good measure of humor and raunchiness thrown in.
Unfortunately, while this movie has a cute, almost original premise, nothing too deep goes down; the ending is especially bland. This kind of romantic comedy is already overdone, so much so that even the ‘original’ ideas have been overdone. The original romantic comedy goes like this: boy and girl meet, fall in love, and then something goes bad and someone runs away and the other person chases them to the airport. Even stories with a little twist, like “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” or “Hitch”, feel overdone by now.
At least “No Strings Attached” tries for cleverness, and its script is not bad. The audience laughed at almost every joke, and Portman and Kutcher were both naturals. There are lots of cute secondary characters, including a dog named Freckles, but that’s all they are, secondary characters. Emma and Adam each have their own circle of friends, and they are all at least well set up with solid (if shallow) personalities.
A side note that bothered me – the trailer made this seem like Emma and Adam were best friends for a long time, who didn’t want to “worry about their friendship being ruined” (Wikipedia). But that’s not the case at all – they spend one summer at camp together, meet briefly during college, and then again when the movie starts. This makes it feel like a lot less is at stake, and was rather disappointing.
Overall – 2.5/5; you’ll have fun and laughs during the ride, but the film makes little impression.