No Strings Attached – Not Quite Unwatchable

No Strings Attached – Not Quite Unwatchable

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  1. Romantic comedies are a dime a dozen these days.  Each one is just a new excuse to have a charming, handsome actor play opposite a charismatic, beautiful actress and to give teenage girls something to drag their boyfriends to.  Ivan Reitman’s 2011 rom-com, No Strings Attached, brings together the dramatic powerhouse of Natalie Portman with the goofy silliness of Ashton Kutcher.  It turns out that it’s not the best pairing in the world.  SPOILER ALERT, this film is not very good despite it winning a Teen Choice Award for the very specific category, "Choice Movie Actor:  Romantic Comedy."

    What is it about?

    Adam (Ashton Kutcher) is a production assistant on a musical TV show (not called "Glee"… but, basically, "Glee") with hopes of writing for that same TV show.  Emma is a resident at a local Los Angeles area hospital.  They first met at summer camp as kids, but haven’t stayed in touch on any kind of regular basis.  The rest is your standard rom-com plot.  Adam and Emma meet back up and sleep together.  They both want to keep it casual, but Adam ends up falling for Emma.  Then Emma breaks if off because she wanted no strings attached (hence the title).  After Adam has seemingly moved on, Emma decides she misses Adam and tries to get him back to no avail.  Then, tragedy (Adam’s dad gets hospitalized) brings them together one more time where they finally reconcile and live happily ever after.  Very predictable.

    The things that are slightly different in No Strings Attached as opposed to other rom-coms are as follows:  Adam’s dad dates one of Adam’s ex girlfriends, Adam has another woman interested in him, and Emma hates herself.  Other than that, this is a standard rom-com with a little extra bad language and sex scenes… because it’s rated R.

    Is it any good?

    No.

    If you really want to see this story, go see Friends With Benefits (starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake) which was released a mere 6 months after No Strings Attached and has essentially the same plot.  It’s still not great, but it’s better than this cliche ridden, boring, predictable mess. 

    Nolan’s Grade:  D

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