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    March 6, 2011



    Genre: Comedy/Romance
    Release Date: 17 February 2011
    Running Time: 110 minutes
    Distributor: Paramount Pictures (United International Pictures)
    Director: Ivan Reitman
    Screenplay: Elizabeth Meriwether
    Starring: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Jake M. Johnson, Cary Elwes, Kevin Kline

    Plot: In this rom-com, Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) are life-long friends who almost ruin everything by having sex one morning. In order to protect their friendship, they make a pact to keep their relationship strictly physical with 'no strings attached'. 'No strings' means no jealousy, no expectations, no fighting, no flowers and definitely no baby voices. They can do whatever they want, whenever they want, in whatever public place they want just as long as they do not fall in love. The question becomes - who is going to fall first? And can their friendship survive?

    Reviews: There is a growing tendency in Hollywood nowadays to make more raunchy comedy to be offer to the audience. No String Attached is one of the few titles about embroiling in a-free sexual relationship with no questions ask this year; others been Hall Pass and Friends With Benefit. It is also a perfect timing to evaluate Ashton Kutcher's career after bombing in The Killers and to look at the different side of Natalie Portman following her dark role in Black Swan.

    In No Strings Attached, Emma (Natalie Portman) meets and befriends Adam Franklin when she was 14. It becomes ritual and coincidence that their fate allow them to meet occasionally every other year until the day when their career is establishing. Emma is now a workaholic doctor-in-training while Adam is the assistant production for a TV show who has aspiration to become a script writer. Devastated by his father's decision to date his ex-girlfriend Vanessa, Adam is determine to call a random girl for casual sex. He lands up at Emma's apartment the next morning in an awkward hangover, but then he and Emma have a quick sex.

    The event leads them to have casual sex with each other, setting some ground rules for each other to prevent their relationship from becoming too serious. Emma doesn't believe in love while Adam is happy gentleman and the son of a 1980s sitcom star (Kevin Kline), who always find himself attracted to Emma. Things get well in the beginning until jealousy takes control of both Emma and Adam. On their Valentine's Day date, Adam confesses his love for Emma but instead becomes infuriate, telling him to look for another girl. Things change later but while both of them trying to get over the painful relationship, will they get back together again?

    Ivan Reitman has many hits and misses in his career. There are hits like Ghostbusters and The Kindergarten Cop while there are also misses like his last film, My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Although his Ghostbuster's era has long gone, he is still able to fork out some excitement and charm in making No Strings Attached. All those charms however make No Strings Attached a rather typical romance comedy only in a different premise. It started of well and creative by bringing two different and opposite characters together. Emma is emotionally-retarded but Adam is ever-committed in a relationship.

    However as the movie pushes forward, the story suddenly lacks of surprising elements, instead now been too formulaic. One can expect what kind of conflict will happens in the middle. In general, two are happy on the bed because of their lust and casual sex that do not goes beyond any seriousness. In this kind of relationship, it is easy to point out how things may be going down one day when the feeling of seriousness emerges, leaving any one of them will be hurt. There you go, I just hinted the story but it is blatantly predictable isn't it? For that, the script fails to go harder and deeper on the conflict, leaving the audience with a middling middle act.

    Even with a formulaic script, the terrific performances from Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher manage to keep things alive. Their chemistry works and believable, in some mysterious and nonsense way it is. Seeing the presence of this cute couple will definitely render the audience to grow tired or bored. Plus, the movie throws in scenes which will leave you smile at it. For extra plus, No Strings Attached brings in some creative punch with Adam's own Period Mix to the distraught Emma, a creative birthday song by Kevin Kline and carrot as flower. On one side, what seems to be a formulaic story has its own creativity in soothing the right romantic moments within it.

    Overall, No Strings Attached is a predictable romantic comedy that deals with the pain of engaging in casual sex but leaves one happily enduring the some of the awkward but creatively designated elements. Perfect for Valentine's Day and the romantic getaway only!


    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 3.0
    Effects: 3.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 11.8/20.0
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