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94 of 108 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Needs Love? Let's Just Have Sex!
What "No Strings Attached" lacks in originality and unpredictability is made up for in the charm and likeability of its leads. Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman not only have great onscreen chemistry, they also are individually well developed - at least, as well developed as they can be within the boundaries of a romantic comedy. It's also surprisingly funny, although...
Published on January 21, 2011 by Chris Pandolfi

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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ehhh. (*shrugging shoulders impartially*)
I consider myself to be a solid judge of a movie based on the previews, and this movie's previews definitely piqued my interest. As a single woman, begrudgingly falling into the stereotype, I'm always seeking a good love story that I can relate to. Unfortunately, I felt that this one fell flat. A decent overall movie to watch on a rainy day, but a uninspiring storyline.
Published on May 21, 2011 by Erin K. Dowd


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94 of 108 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Needs Love? Let's Just Have Sex!, January 21, 2011
By 
What "No Strings Attached" lacks in originality and unpredictability is made up for in the charm and likeability of its leads. Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman not only have great onscreen chemistry, they also are individually well developed - at least, as well developed as they can be within the boundaries of a romantic comedy. It's also surprisingly funny, although it's only partly because of the well placed raunchy sex jokes; the film is one of the few recent romantic comedies to successfully find that balance between sweetness and silliness, and while that's only moderate praise for writer Elizabeth Meriwether and director Ivan Reitman, at least it's proof that they know how to take innately ridiculous material and make it accessible to general audiences.

The film is not realistic in any way, shape, or form, but that's just stating the obvious because we don't go to movies like this looking for meaning or truth. It tells the story of Adam and Emma (Kutcher and Portman), who first met as teenagers in summer camp and saw each other off and on over the next several years. In the present day, they live in Los Angeles, Adam an assistant on a TV series that crosses "Glee" with "High School Musical," Emma a doctor at UCLA. They have successfully maintained a friendship, although there's always a flash of jealousy whenever one of them shows up with a significant other. When Adam's girlfriend dumps him for his father (Kevin Kline), he goes on a bender, makes several phone calls to women he knows ... and wakes up in Emma's apartment, naked and surrounded by Emma's friends and fellow residents.

No sex took place the night before. The morning after, however, Adam and Emma suddenly drop their defenses and just go for it. That's when they decide to take a stab at being friends with benefits; they will use each other for sex at any time of the day, but they won't commit to anything long-term. Surprisingly, this comes at the insistence of Emma, who for reasons left a little obscure is frightened by serious relationships. This is made clear in her habit of texting Adam rather than seeing him in person, a trend that has become all too real in today's smart phone society. I'll stop short of saying this movie is sending a message about technology limiting social interaction, although there are hints of it all throughout.

No more of the plot needs to be described. It goes through the motions and ends exactly the way we expect it to end. There are, however, a couple of side characters that deserve to be mentioned. One of the best is Adam's on-set colleague, Lucy (Lake Bell), who's deeply neurotic and talks at a hundred miles an hour. Making this kind of character likeable is next to impossible, and yet Bell pulls it off, probably because she understood that there's a fine line between comedy relief and annoyance. And then there are Adam's best friends, played by Chris Bridges and Jake Johnson; they aren't given all that much to do, but you can count on them for a few good male-oriented one-liners. Kline is somewhat underutilized as Adam's father, a former TV star who does drugs as if it was the 1970s and has a thing for much younger women. He's mostly just a counterpoint to his son, a way for the audience to see what Adam should not do when it comes to meeting and loving the opposite sex.

One of the film's funniest scenes is in Emma's apartment, where she and her girlfriends - along with one gay man - spend the night together in the throes of menstrual agony. Knowing they're all on the same cycle, Adam stops by with a box full of cupcakes. He also gives Emma a period-specific mix CD, with titles I probably can't repeat for the purposes of this review. There's also a moment when Emma gives Adam a Valentine's Day card, which reads, "You give me premature ventricular contractions." I laughed hard. But then again, I was raised by registered nurses who specialized in cardiology, so I probably have an unfair advantage.

Reitman made the right choices in the casting of Kutcher and Portman, for they have that compatibility movies like this require. Kutcher is especially enjoyable and plays what may be the warmest, most caring role of his entire career. Portman is also a natural fit for this movie, which is surprising given her latest stint as a mentally ill ballerina; it's good for even the most dedicated and serious of actors to reveal that they do in fact have a sense of humor. "No Strings Attached" is by no means a great movie, and it will never be in the same league as "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II," my two favorite Reitman comedies. But if you're in the mood for a conventional lightweight romantic comedy, this movie gets the job done nicely.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ehhh. (*shrugging shoulders impartially*), May 21, 2011
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I consider myself to be a solid judge of a movie based on the previews, and this movie's previews definitely piqued my interest. As a single woman, begrudgingly falling into the stereotype, I'm always seeking a good love story that I can relate to. Unfortunately, I felt that this one fell flat. A decent overall movie to watch on a rainy day, but a uninspiring storyline.
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50 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mildly entertaining, May 22, 2011
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Comment: This review is written by an older guy from the "free love" Emerson Lake and Palmer, Black Sabbath, Yes, and Beatles generation. I don't usually watch "chick flicks", but i'm a movie collector, so some "get through". This film is a (hard core) formula movie for this genres (chick flick). I have to say that when this movie started I couldn't help but think how "prissy and "gay-like" (the new generation depicted by this movie...) was looking and acting. As the story started to go... it started to become entertaining. One thing that I just couldn't get past was the casual way people had sex with each other. I mean even back in my day of "free love" (despite what you may of heard or read) when you were "boning a girl" you liked, you didn't pass her around like a reefer (as some of the characters were doing). My "distilled" comment for this movie is that if you strip away all the "fluff" around the main story it is somewhat entertaining. Is it believable or true to life... not a chance in hell. Please don't "flame mail" me as some have done in the past. This is a "free and open" venue for us to express our opinions. Thank You.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do no waste your time, November 17, 2012
By 
DZKBWP (Warren, MI) - See all my reviews
Story has no substance at all. Transition between scenes is poor. Slow and boring. Not even worthy of my time to watch on a rainy day. Talents are wasted in this movie.
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37 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No chemistry, July 29, 2011
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It is really sad when you get your expectations up with a new Ivan Reitman comedy only to be bitterly dissapointed by it. There is a hardly any chemistry between the two protaganists (Portman and Kutcher). All we get is a bawdy comedy with a slow moving story. Kevin Kline is simply wasted. Just oh dear, yawn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Snoooooooze, December 5, 2012
Wanted to watch this because I have a massive girl crush on Natalie Portman. The romance was blah and for a rom-com this didn't even make me laugh once. Morover, Portman's character was annoying and Kutcher's absolutely bland. It was not worth my time.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How does Ashton Kuchter keep getting roles?, July 3, 2011
This review is from: No Strings Attached [DVD] (DVD)
And what is Natalie Portman doing in such a mess? I always thought she was a fairly intelligent actress who could pick out decent roles but she has made some really bad choices recently. And if there is a more unfunny, uninteresting film than this, I don't think I've seen it. Or a tv sitcom, for that matter. It is a mess.

I did like seeing Kline again, he is always good but really all it did was remind me of all his good films over the years I would rather have been watching.

And there is no question Natalie Portman is nice to look at. So I give it two stars for Portman's looks and Kline, zero stars for Kuchter (he is an insufferably bad actor in every way and should never make another film or tv show ever) which averages out to a one star.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unbearably bad..., June 14, 2011
By 
This review is from: No Strings Attached [DVD] (DVD)
After an hour I could not take the crass jokes and terrible acting. Skip this one at all costs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfulfilling, September 21, 2012
When I watch a rom-com, I understand that I'm watching it for those feel good, romantic moments. However, the writing in this was sub par even for a rom-com. The dialogue was cliche and uninspired throughout the entirety of the film, which made it hard to find any of it believable.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just wasted an hour and a half of my life!, November 26, 2012
By 
W C (Maryland) - See all my reviews
In addition to the Kutcher/Portman soft porn, there are a few other love stories developing. I'm sure that you can guess how the main plot ends (they fall in love, they deny their love, they separate, they get back together). Unfortunately, it's the other stories that are actually interesting but the movie only glosses over them as backdrops for this trite one. I wish I could say at least that it was funny; alas, so much of the dialogue was cliché and generally predictable.

I had this playing in the background on my iPad while I was looking for a book. Although my life wasn't totally wasted, if I had thought about it, I think I would have watched "Friday" or anything else instead.
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No Strings Attached [DVD]
No Strings Attached [DVD] by Natalie Portman (DVD - 2011)
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