The movie No Strings Attached puts an ironic spin on the negative stigma that casual sex is exactly all it is cracked up to be…casual. Starring the always charming Ashton Kutcher and the effortlessly beautiful Natalie Portman, No Strings Attached is a consistent off-the-wall romantic comedy that does a phenomenal job of keeping the audience entertained and on the edge of their seats.
After what I thought was a seemingly mediocre holiday movie season, Portman and Kutcher proved that the wait for springtime films would be well worth it. With an all-star cast ranging from The Conspirator’s Kevin Kline to rapper turned actor Ludacris, the film’s wide range of star power is in perfect balance.
Emma and Adam, played by Portman and Kutcher, are two old friends who, through a strange course of events, are brought back into each other’s lives. While trying to fight the force of an inevitable heartbreak, the two make a deal to be just friends…with benefits. While the arrangement desperately struggles to remain strictly physical, the overbearing emotions felt by the two characters leads to a painful parting of ways. That is until they ultimately decide to stop running from love and create something real together.
What sets this movie apart from the typical “love story” is that the actions of the brooding lovers are incredibly out of the ordinary. It leads the audience to wonder what exactly is the force of the method behind all of their madness. Ashton Kutcher plays Emma’s handsome lover with a heart of gold who still manages to take irrational measures throughout the movie that have the audience arguing with him through their theatre screens. Portman, on the other hand, takes irrational to an entirely new level, which makes it very hard to understand her motives and has the viewers desperately trying to figure her out for over 100 minutes.
As much as I loved the film, there are a few cynical bones in my body that are entitled to argue their opinion. While the curiosity and unforeseen occurrences of the movie are what makes it interesting and fun, I personally did not feel as though the plot completely came together in the end. There was obviously a colossal root to the true problems that Portman’s character was dictated by and I felt as though they were seemingly brushed-over or sugar-coated. In what seemed to be a minute and a half long explanation from Emma’s mother played by Talia Balsam of why she should abandon the demons that kept her guarded, the movie was cutting the audience short of their rightfully earned explanation. A movie so incredibly detailed and vivid in events seemed to have hit every corner with witty conversation and outlandish one-liners but came up short when breaking down the intensity of the real struggle behind Portman’s character.
Aside from leaving the theatre feeling slightly cut short, the laugh out loud dialogue and honesty of the characters leads me to recommend this movie to the masses. Although, I would also recommend taking precaution – this movie is not for the naive hearted. For those who use movies as inspiration or better insight in their own private lives, a movie about how the idea of a “sex friend” as Kutcher refers to the two in one scene, turned long-time lover might not exactly be for you.
If anything, I did not exactly see the film as one where you can really learn a thing or two romantically, but instead as a first-hand look at what happens when baggage meets love and why it is so important for two individuals to leave that behind and go into a relationship with open hearts and open minds.
It is safe to say that you will absolutely fall in love with Natalie Portman if you did not love her already and Ashton Kutcher’s charm will turn even the biggest skeptics into believers. This movie was certainly anything but predictable but still incredibly satisfying and it is no wonder to me why it has grossed over $50 million and has remained at the top of the box office since it’s late January release.