Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman do average jobs. Ashton hams away to glory while Natalie is clearly ill at ease playing her character. In fact, the character actors in the cast do a far better job than the lead actors. Kevin Kline, Cary Elwes, Ludacris and Jake M. Johnson are memorable. The girl gang – Greta Gerwig, Olivia Thirlby, Mindy Kaling, Talia Balsam and Ophelia Lovibond – provide able support. Lake Bell (as Adam’s boss) is the pick of the lot for her fine performance.
It soon becomes clear, however, that Emma has �intimacy issues’ and just wants sex, no romance, no hand-holding, no hugging, and no learning
Ivan Reitman’s direction is nothing to write home about. He glosses over the basic flaws in the script and makes it seem like the idea of a couple of people having sex all the time will be interesting enough for the audiences. Maybe it would have been the case, were the goings-on convincing enough. By and large, the film entertains little beyond offering a few laughs. John Debney’s background score is okay. Rogier Stoffers’ camerawork is functional. Editor Dana E. Glauberman could have done with a few more cuts in the second half.
Natalie Portman’s first comedy of the year, and a return to the big screen for director Ivan Reitman. But is No Strings Attached any good?
2011 looks like it may be the year that Natalie Portman follows up her award-worthy performance in Black Swan with the Ivan Reitman directed romantic comedy No Strings Attached, pairing a serious and more �worthy’ film with something fluffier, presumably to cleanse herself of all the psychological trauma and baggage that comes with playing a demented ballerina. This has come to be known (by me) as the �Coens gambit’. The alternating of tones, I mean.