All Sexed Up! "No Strings Attached" Movie Review! How Many Kisses Do Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher Deserve? 

Natalie Portman triumphed at the recently concluded Golden Globe Awards with her Best Actress win for “Black Swan.” I doubt that she will be nominated for her performance in the new romantic comedy “No Strings Attached.”

The film, co-starring Ashton Kutcher, is still commendable, but this is the kind of movie that Portman, in her impressive and illustrious career, has wisely declined. So why is she suddenly joining the romantic comedy bandwagon?

Not only is Portman starring in the film, she is also one of the executive producers. The one reason I can deduce from the star’s attraction to the project is the way the film bends our notions of gender in the romantic comedy genre.

“No Strings Attached” still follows the guy-meets-girl trope of the genre, only this time, it’s the guy that does most of the loving and the inevitable whining. And that’s probably why Portman not only starred in it, she also helped produce the movie.

Portman stars as Emma and Kutcher is Adam, lifelong friends who have evaded Cupid’s arrow for quite a while. She is an ambitious medical student while he is a writer for a “Glee” type of TV show.

Soon, the two are singing a different type of tune when they have sex one morning. Which one is more important to them – their friendship or their carnal desires?

Emma and Adam vow to keep their relationship strictly “no strings attached” in order to protect their friendship. No falling in love is their edict. Can they keep their platonic love alive without sex interfering? You probably can predict the answer to that question.

Nowadays, calling a romantic comedy predictable is well, predictable. But you can pretty much know what will happen to the characters in this yarn. I did like the way scriptwriter Elizabeth Meriweather invested more in developing her characters and for questioning our contemporary sexual mores.

I also enjoyed the supporting cast specifically Lake Bell who plays a super-talkative TV producer. Kevin Kline also makes an appearance as an aging womanizer.

Kline’s director in “Dave,” Ivan Reitman, helms “No Strings Attached” and helps improve the film’s comic tone. Reitman also has an excellent eye and makes the overused Los Angeles beautiful and inviting.

Besides the film’s predictability, I wished the filmmakers utilized the movie’s R rating and showed more confidence in exploring our sexual customs. Instead, we got a cute film and this material really needs bite.

But cute is what sells romantic comedies and I have no doubt that “No Strings Attached” will do good at the box-office. I just couldn’t help but imagine Portman in her black ballerina outfit while canoodling with Kutcher. I guess my love for the actress and her “Black Swan” performance should be kept no strings attached.


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