Most romantic comedies are corny, predictable and downright lame. Unfortunately, No Strings Attachedis no exception. Oscar-winning superstar Natalie Portman and pretty boy Ashton Kutcher headline this mediocre love story directed by comedy film veteran Ivan Reitman and sadly, the results are less than spectacular. Now out in a Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo pack, this disappointing film is yours to own though I don’t know why you’d subject yourself to that sort of pain and embarrassment.
No Strings Attached tells the story of two young people who are physically attracted to one another however in order to keep things simple, they make an agreement to not become emotionally involved with one another. Natalie Portman stars as Emma, a resident at a local hospital and Ashton Kutcher plays Adam, a TV show production assistant who has aspirations of becoming a script writer. Both characters meet for the first time in the film as kids. They start off with an awkward beginning and don’t see one another until they are much older. Now as adults, they keep running into one another and eventually end up having sex. They soon become friends with benefits, sleeping with one another while at the same time, keeping their feelings for one another in check.
Throughout the course of the film, we see the blossoming relationship between Emma and Adam. Their casual sexual encounters are quick and superficial but eventually they both begin feeling more than just physical attraction.
There’s no doubt about it, Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher are beautiful people. Their chemistry is pretty decent in No Strings Attached however the film itself suffers from a lackluster script and a very stale and a predictable plot. Portman is cute and intelligent as always in the movie. This is actually the first film she’s starred in since her Oscar-winning turn in last year’s dark drama Black Swan. Though, it seems like she’s on autopilot here. Sure, she’s convincing and charming as Emma but the script doesn’t allow her to shine as much as she does in her other films. Also, Kutcher is a good-looking dude. I’ll give him that but I must say the man can’t act. I know he used to be a fashion model and I seriously think he should consider going back to that line of work.
There are also some slightly amusing supporting roles in No Strings Attached such as Kevin Kline who plays Adam’s eccentric pot head dad. There are also witty one-liners provided by Ludacris, Greta Gerwig and Mindy Kaling.
The great Ivan Reitman directed No Strings Attached and initially, I was surprised to hear that he helmed this subpar picture. I mean this was the man behind comedy classics such asStripes, Ghostbusters 1 & 2 and Kindergarten Cop, funny entertaining movies with great stories, talented actors and awesome scripts. No Strings Attached marks Reitman’s third cinematic flop of the 21st century. In 2001, he was responsible for the alien-comedy Evolutionand after that; he subjected audiences to torture with My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Let’s just hope that if he makes Ghostbusters 3, he doesn’t ruin it.
No Strings Attached is a 107-minute letdown. The acting isn’t very good, the script is bad and story has been done before. Kutcher’s involvement in this movie I understand. He usually stars in drivel like this. But, it’s Portman who I don’t understand. She is a very talented actress who now has an Oscar in her possession. This year, she is also starring in two other films: the medieval fantasy comedy Your Highness and the blockbuster superhero pic Thor. Without a doubt, No Strings Attached will be a blemish on the young star’s ever-growing career.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The bonus features for No Strings Attached are good. There is a feature-length audio commentary with Ivan Reitman. There are three featurettes: Sex Friends: Getting Together,Inside the Sassy Halls of Secret High and Modern Love: The Dos and Don’ts. There are six deleted scenes and two alternate storyline scenes.