REVIEW: No Strings Attached (2011)

27 Jan

No Strings Attached

Rated: R

Starring: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline

Director: Ivan Reitman

Review by: Sarah Higgins (Guest Author)

I’ve enjoyed reading Chris and Pac’s blog for three months, but it seemed the site could benefit from a female perspective, so I offered to contribute periodically. It is oh-so-fitting that the first review they asked for is a romantic comedy.

No Strings Attached is your typical rom-com, with a twist: give the male lead traditionally female characteristics, and vice versa. It’s not a new idea, but it was a nice change to a largely formulaic genre.

Not only is Emma (Natalie Portman) the doctor with no time for romantic relationships, she’s the commitment-phobe. Adam (Ashton Kutcher) is the monogamist with a heart of gold, despite (or maybe because of) being raised by a laissez-faire, multiple-divorcee father (Kevin Kline) who is now dating his son’s ex-girlfriend.

Man, that's cold.

Both Portman and Kutcher make the most of their roles, playing up their opposite-gender traits, but not over-doing it. The highlight of the film is the chemistry between the two main characters. Their relationship – defined or not – is believable and fun to watch.

The supporting cast of characters is great – quirky and providing fun distraction from the main plot – and the soundtrack is a character all its own. Color Me Badd’s I Wanna Sex You Up hilariously sets the tone in the early minutes of the film.

Color Me Badd also set a hilarious tone for the early 90's.

Unfortunately, while the lyrics are good, some of the lines are bad. Really bad. Early on, No Strings Attached tries much too hard in the way of crass humor. I imagine the filmmakers were reaching out to a possible male audience, but the effort is hollow. Their abandonment of the effort halfway through the film was genius.

Another big negative is the film’s ending. Everyone in the audience knows where this story is heading, and that is okay. That is a romantic comedy. But that doesn’t mean the ending should be abbreviated. As ‘The End’ appeared on the screen, the audience literally groaned out loud.

But wait for it… there are more scenes during the credit roll! Instead of being snappy, comedic additions to the plot, we watched what felt to be the real ending of the film. Thank goodness.

No Strings Attached wasn’t the best movie ever, but I enjoyed watching it. Any film that heavily features Ashton Kutcher’s abs, really does have a lot to offer.

Hello Lover....

  • Characters: B+
  • Cinematography: B
  • Directing: B
  • Plot: B+
  • Performances: A
  • OVERALL: B+
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6 Responses to “REVIEW: No Strings Attached (2011)”

  1. 2blu2btru January 27, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Hooray for a female voice!…and Ashton Kutcher’s abs! I haven’t seen this one yet (or Love & Other Drugs…I’m so behind on the Rom Coms…silly boyfriends; they ruin EVERYTHING ;-)), but I think I’ll see it at the dollar movie. Nice perspective.

  2. movie search February 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Elizabeth Meriwether wrote a great screenplay for No Strings Attached
    Natalie Portman & Ashton Kutcher were great too

  3. Robert G. Splaine Jr. February 21, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    A young couple begin a friends with benefits relationship, with the man wanting more, while the woman resists commitment. This leads to the inevitable, and predictable scenario of will they, or won’t they, come together? The movie is at times crude, and is not as funny as it thinks it is. There was an occasional laugh, and Natalie Portman is a strong lead. However, with standard elements of the genre present, I would like to say it is a run-of-the-mill romantic-comedy, but that would be an insult to romantic-comedies everywhere.

  4. Howard J. Sachs February 24, 2011 at 4:58 am #

    I have been buying and listening to movie soundtracks for years. Without a doubt, this was among the biggest disappointments. There is a tremendous disconnect between the music I enjoyed during the movie and the tracks they chose to include on this CD. It’s a shame as I was looking forward to the fine movie tunes. I wish I listened to the on-line song previews. Instead I purchased this impulsively having enjoyed the movie soundtrack. What a mistake! Save yourself the money and the disappointment. You would be better off just purchasing a download or two of the more enjoyable tunes.

  5. CMrok93 May 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    I knew this was going to be pretty awful and it was just so awkward for over half the movie. I don’t know if it was the audience I saw this with but a lot of the jokes got nothing but silence. Strings just didn’t know what it wanted to be…it felt like a mid-level comedy going for some edgy material, or an American Pie grade shock-comedy that pulled its punches. Good review, check out mine when you can!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. REVIEW: No Strings Attached (2011) (via Chris and Pac Take on Hollywood) | The Calculable - January 28, 2011

    […] REVIEW: No Strings Attached (2011) (via Chris and Pac Take on Hollywood) Posted on 28 January, 2011 by Jarle Petterson No Strings Attached Rated: R Starring: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline Director: Ivan Reitman Review by: Sarah Higgins (Guest Author) I’ve enjoyed reading Chris and Pac’s blog for three months, but it seemed the site could benefit from a female perspective, so I offered to contribute periodically. It is oh-so-fitting that the first review they asked for is a romantic comedy. No Strings Attached is your typical rom-com, with a twist: … Read More […]

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