"It reminded me of my senior prom. I got a handjob on the dance floor to "Who Let the Dogs Out?" "
Natalie Portman comes out of award season on the top with her Best Actress awards for her performance in "Black Swan" including the Golden Globe and Oscar in the near future, probably. For her first film in the new year, she takes on the romantic-comedy genre for the first time since her performance in the 2004 film "Garden State". Her co-star Ashton Kutcher, however, is no stranger when it comes to the romantic-comedy genre with his last few films being in that area ("What Happens in Vegas", "Valentine's Day", "Killers"). These two together, they create a very awkward, but realistic chemistry with their character's Adam and Emma. Their relationship begins when the two meet as teenagers sexually frustrated at a summer camp and from there we seem them as strange acquaintances right through the early years of their adulthood until they are both thrown into each other's lives for the final time. Emma, is a successful doctor, isn't looking for a relationship. She works eighty hours a week and doesn't want a relationship. Adam is an aspiring writer looking for his break working on the set of a high-school series, which is very similar to "Glee". The two decide to have a relationship with no commitment, just sex. But, how long will it take before a knot comes into their strings?
One highlight of the film is how accurate and realistic the interactions between Adam and Emma are when they're together. The two, acting weird around each other, is exactly what you do when your in a relationship. Your yourself. A lot of romantic-comedies nowadays seem to forget what makes the movie good, not the story, but the chemistry between the characters. "No Strings Attached" hits that spot-on. The casting of Portman and Kutcher is the golden choice, as well, because I haven't witness such on-screen chemistry in a romantic-comedy since Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in "(500) Days of Summer". Portman's performance as Emma is great. Could you expect nothing less from her? Ashton Kutcher, on the other hand, actually does a good job here. I remember years ago when he used to host "Punk'd" and he was such a bad actor. He was okay on "That 70's Show", but his movies were horrible. His past few movies have been major improvement in his career, but "No Strings Attached" definitely tied the knot on that statement. He isn't playing himself here, he's playing Adam. A character. Adam is pretty likeable, he wants to be a writer, and that being my true dream as well, I liked his character all the more. The film doesn't just grasp onto the character's lives in the present, we get back-stories and enough information to really feel a connection with them.
The supporting stars here do just as good a job as the main stars. The most notable character here is Adam's father Alvin, who is dating Adam's ex-girlfriend, and is also quite the daredevil when it comes to trying new things. Kline, a strange choice, is pretty funny here with the outrageous character he has. With this film, we also get Mindy Kaling (The Office), Ludacris, Cary Elwes ( who seemed like a 'see if you can point out' cameo), Greta Gerwig, and Lake Bell. All the characters here, wheatear they were Adam's friends or Emma's, all have chemistry with one another no matter what scene.
Director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, My Super Ex-Girlfriend) is known for outrageous works with comedy and there is no difference here. "No Strings Attached" is as R-rated as they come and Ivan Reitman, directed a pretty heavy script, does a fine job giving the film a very light touch. There is one shot in particular from the film that I really liked and that was a night-time sky-shot of the city lights all turning on and off. It was quick, but it was a great shot, I think. But, of course, he does a great job with the rest of the film as well. I look forward to see what he does with "Ghostbusters 3".
Elizabeth Meriwether, the writer behind the movie, creates a very raunchy, but also touching, story between two very real characters. She does a great job creating all of the different characters in Adam and Emma's lives as well as writing the two of them, as well. The story itself isn't too original, in fact, the film is very similar to last year's "Love and Other Drugs". The only difference is that "Love and Other Drugs" grasps more on drama that it does comedy while "No Strings Attached" does the complete opposite. The film also has the perfect length. The movie has enough gags and creative moments that the film never seems to drag on. I liked her idea that Adam worked on a TV show set. It made his character's life seem more interesting. As well as Emma being a doctor. The script does a fine job not only focusing on the sex-story but of the lives of the characters as well while everything is going on. As for the script, I thought it was great.
Overall, "No Strings Attached" is one of the better romantic-comedies from the past couple of years. The two main stars have excellent on-screen chemistry, the best I've seen since "(500) Days of Summer" and they're performances are on top. The film may not grasp onto something completely original, but, its done much better than similar films to its kind. This is "American Pie" for adults, I say see it.