Friday, January 21, 2011
Guess what? No Strings Attached, for the most part, actually works! Romantic Comedies, I feel are the trickiest of all genres. It's an unknown quotient of ingredients needed to make a good cocktail of two people falling in love, amidst a contrived plot. You often end up with something too sweet, or too flat, too light or too dark, or just unpalatable. I felt that James L Brook's How Do You Know had some good ingredients, but No Strings Attached, directed by Ivan Reitman, does a better job of mixing it all together. So in keeping with my rom/com cocktail metaphor, the movie would rate 3 out of 5 cherries or I suppose 2 Tines on my rating system, which I don't usually use for movies anymore, just food.
The tag line for this film is "Can sex friends be best friends?", but what I like is the fact that Emma (Portman), a hospital Resident and Adam (Kutcher), an aspiring TV writer are NOT best friends.
They meet a series of times over the years, first at camp, then at a college dorm party, then on the street with friends; but they don't really know each other, which takes that stupidity out of the plot. Cause face it, in life if two heterosexual male/female people have been close friends since pre-puberty - before graduating high school they will have had sex and probably dated. Maybe they could go back to being friends later, maybe; but it would never be they get to age 25 and have never been with each other.
I also like that Emma and Adam fall into the sexual relationship first, before discussing the parameters. And the film keeps the physical comedy down to a minimum.
It's obvious the Universe is looking favorably upon Natalie Portman in this time of her life, amdist Black Swan earning her all kinds of accolades, nominations and wins, she's happily planning her wedding and instant family, not to mention, she has 3 more movies coming out in 2011 - Cloud Atlas, Thor and Your Highness . We share a birthday, June 9th. Do the stars have such grand plans in store for me as well?
Ashton Kutcher is not my ideal for a leading man, he'll forever be Kelso (That 70's Show), but the chemistry of her aloofness and his openness create the right spark. Plus Kutcher has a sweet bare ass!
Kevin Kline plays Adam's father, a former sitcom star, now past his prime and dating his son's left overs. It's a good Kevin Kline type role. Actress, Greta Gerwig (Greenberg) is very watchable. She plays Emma's roommate and fellow Resident at the hospital.
This whole friends with benefits topic, will be under discussion again this summer when Portman's Black Swan co-star Mila Kunis becomes sex buddies with Justin Timberlake in a movie entitled, what else? Friends With Benefits. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the current offering. Personally, I just got out of a relationship of this type and what I learned from it was, whether it be a friendship, a family relation or a romance, relationships are meant to take on a life of their own without being ruled by intellect and practicality. Borders and preset limitations are for property, not people.