Film Review: Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman With ‘No Strings Attached’

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CHICAGO – When a handsome studmuffin meets a fetching, fabulously hot doctor, what’s the outcome? That’s right, sex without a relationship, AKA Friends with Benefits. And a movie featuring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman called “No Strings Attached.” Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Directed by comedy veteran Ivan Reitman (”Ghostbusters”), No Strings has an unevenly funny execution, anchored by some decent comic performances by the pretty leads. In a swift and resolute fashion, it takes the predictable story and gives it some well-appointed starch.

Natalie Portman is Emma, presented to us in a flashback to her camp days as a 14-year old. She is being “seduced” by Adam (Ashton Kutcher) who is awkwardly trying to get over his parent’s divorce. They don’t meet again until several years later, as college kids at the University of Michigan. Emma decides to ask Adam to accompany her on a date. This encounter is memorable, but the couple go their separate ways.

Flash forward again to Los Angeles, where the pair meet again, this time in more adult circumstances. Emma is now a resident physician at a teaching hospital, and Adam is a production assistant on a “High School Musical Meets Glee” type of television series. A little of the same initial spark is exchanged, but Adam is involved with Vanessa (Ophelia Lovibond) and again the opportunity has seemed to pass in another chance meeting.

That is until Vanessa separates from Adam to take up with his father (Kevin Kline), a foppish ex-sitcom star living off the fame of his big hit series, “Great Scott.” This development puts Adam into a tailspin, and he ends up drunk and nude (who doesn’t?) on the couch of Emma and her doctor roommates. This is where the first tryst takes place, and where Emma gets the idea that she and Adam will be Schtup Buddies. Where will they go from there?

“No Strings Attached” opens everywhere January 21st. Featuring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig, Cary Elwes, Olivia Thurby, Ludracis and Mindy Kaling. Screenplay/story by Elizabeth Meriwether and Michael Samonek and directed by Ivan Reitman. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “No Strings Attached”

Let Us Be Lovers: Natalie Portman (Emma) and Ashton Kutcher (Adam) in ‘No Strings Attached’
Let Us Be Lovers?: Natalie Portman (Emma) and Ashton Kutcher (Adam) in ‘No Strings Attached’
Photo credit: Dale Robinette for © 2011 DW Studios, LLC

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “No Strings Attached”

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