Adam (Kutcher) first met Emma (Portman, who also exec produced) when they were adolescents at summer camp. Reacquainted years later, they end up becoming close friends. Adam, an assistant on a Glee-style TV series and the son of a 1980s sitcom star (Kevin Kline), is a goodhearted chap smitten with Emma, who is now a workaholic doctor and by her own admission allergic to serious relationships.
Naturally, that “sext friends” deal is just too good to last. So who’s going to blink first? And can their friendship survive it?
Woody Harrelson plays a humorous gay character, and of course in many ways what the main characters are doing is having a gay relationship, since the idea of pregnancy or any other serious consequences never comes up
Imagine if a celebrated chef like Wolfgang Puck decided to cook at an Applebee’s one night and you just happened to be eating there. It could very well be the best meal you’ve ever had at Applebee’s, but it’s still frickin’ Applebee’s no matter who cooked your dinner because it’s all the same crappy ingredients. That’s about the best analogy that I can make about No Strings Attached as helmed by Ivan Reitman, whose skills may have dipped over the years but who is still the director of Ghostbusters, Dave, Twins, Kindergarten Cop and Stripes.
No Strings Attached doesn’t offer much of anything new. It could have very easily been a casual sex comedy from the 1980s or a Kate Hudson-Dane Cook vehicle, but the chemistry between Portman and Kutcher and the judgment of Reitman are enough to make it passably entertaining in a “watch it if it’s on the plane” sort of way. There are a few chuckles peppered throughout — with the leads getting decent support from Kline, Lake Bell, Mindy Kaling, Greta Gerwig and Jake Johnson — but there are also long, dull stretches and a litany of genre cliches to endure.
Although the aforementioned actors make the most of their screen time, others — such as the unrecognizable and underutilized Cary Elwes and the hit-and-miss Ludacris — are wasted. The story’s big gimmick is simply reversing the usual rom com dynamic by having the girl be the emotionally distant one and the guy being the romantic. Otherwise, the movie offers precious little that hasn’t been done to death in romantic comedies by now. It’s a formulaic piece of fluff enlivened by star chemistry.
They end up having a quickie one night, an encounter that begets a friends with benefits arrangement with one big rule: no falling in love
As amiable as Kutcher is here, it’s unsurprisingly the acclaimed Portman who steals the show. It’ll be curious to see if Portman, with Thor and Your Highness looming on the horizon, will befall the “Oscar curse” should she win Best Actress this year. She can afford to get away with one No Strings Attached, but if she makes more films like this in the future then Black Swan’s going to seem like a very fond but distant memory.
If you’ve seen “No Strings Attached ” you’ve seen this movie—the two are so parallel they’re not so much like book ends, but one bookend split in two.
This one takes place in New York City, and is yet another film that makes what was not so long ago America’s version of Hell look as pretty as Paris (think about it, NYC was once the setting for films like “Taxi Driver”). Here, both characters are on the rebound, which in most movies would have them avoiding relationships. In this instance they decide to have a sexual relationship without entanglements. A lot of historic characters had such relationships: Don Juan comes to mind. Baron Von Munchausen even flirted with the Queen of The Moon, and turned down the hand of Catherine The Great. But those were love affairs of men.