Thursday, March 10, 2011

No Strings Attached

Natalie Portman and Kevin Kline, hang your heads in shame, what were you thinking? No Strings Attached is a movie in the middle of an identity crisis. It doesn't know whether to be 'Zac and Miri make a porno' or 'When Harry Met Sally', it fails either way. Why is it so hard for Hollywood to produce a real and funny romantic comedy? The story is about Emma (Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) who first meet at Summer camp as young teens. Then again in their late teens. Then again in their early twenties. Then again in their late twenties. There was always a spark between them. We are led to assume this by the goofie smiles rather than their actual screen chemistry. Adam is a sweet dreamer who works as an assistant on a teen series based heavily on Glee, but who dreams of being a writer. Emma is a no nonsense student doctor, with a real issue with men and relationships. We don't ever know why, that would be far too deep, we just accept it after she invites Adam, when in their early twenties to a 'thing'. The 'thing' turns out to be her father's funeral. However, neither deny their physical attraction, so Emma decides that they should just have sex, no snuggling or dating, just sex. This works for a while, but sweet Adam can't leave it at that, and wants more. Will Emma succumb? what do you think? The point is, when it happens will you care? The editing is all over the place, the movie switches scenes and some parts appear to be tagged on, with no explanation and no tie to the story particularly. Some of the lines are truly crass. Don't get me wrong, that's not a problem for me, but with crassness has to come excellence of delivery and timing, and only Mr 'Buff at 50' Kline is up for the job. The characters are quite unbelievable and some of the scenes are ridiculous. Take for instance the one where Emma and her doctor roomates are lying around with hot water bottles, feeling sorry for themselves because they all have a period at the same time. Sadly, the only male doctor in the group is gay, and so the director thinks it ok for him to join in with this whine fest. Adam turns up with cupcakes, halleluja. He also makes Emma a 'period tape' quite funny but for goodness sake, here's the thing. Women have periods every. single. day. It's not a new phenomena, and guess what, we just get on with it. Only teenages would behave in this manner, or very high maintenance princesses. Either way I've got news for you Adam baby, what you see as endearing whimpering when flow comes to town with Emma at 28, will be annoying and horribly indulgent with Emma at 35, so don't feed the beast. Kevin Kline is great as Adam's egotistical tv star dad, although woefully underused. Natalie Portman looks uncomfortable and out of place, she's too classy for a film like this, but then so is Kevin. And Ashton, what to say about Ashton? He's cute, but thinks he's cuter, can only act one role, sweet but a bit of a child, and I just can't get past Demi Moore and him tweeting every part of their life. NO STRINGS ATTACHED: No comedy attached, No chemistry attached, no script attached. 5/10.

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