No Strings Attached

Some film fans look down their nose at comedy and romantic comedy.  They put all their eggs in the drama basket and see everything else as second rate.  Well, I’m here to set you straight.  Comedy is not easy.  It isn’t a film genre that if you can’t act you go into by default.  Ok, so there are some exceptions to that rule like Adam Sandler and his pal Rob Schneider.

Even if you are a good actor it doesn’t mean you can handle do comedy.  It takes a special kind of talent.  There’s a timing involved that not everyone gets.  Have you seen Angelina Jolie do comedy?  Nope!  She knows her limits and what she is comfortable doing.  I want to add Natalie Portman’s name to the list of good actors who shouldn’t do comedy.  She was awkward, stilted and just no good.  And don’t even get me started about the scene where she tries (and I do mean tries) to act drunk.  Terrible!  You might think I am being cruel and that if I was going to attach anyone’s acting skills it should be that dope Ashton Kutcher’s.  Well, he is beyond help and it would be a waste of time and space to devote to analyzing what is lacking in his acting skills.

Fifteen years ago preteens Adam and Emma become friends at summer camp.  Even at a young age Emma believes that people aren’t meant to be together forever.

We then go forward in time to five years ago and Adam (Ashton Kutcher – from television’s That 70s Show) and Emma (Natalie Portman – Black Swan, Closer) meet again at a frat party.  She is a med student at MIT.  They once again hit it off and she invites him out the next day.  It turns out to be her father’s funeral.  Emma tells him he is wonderful and if he is lucky he will never see her again.

It is now one year ago and Emma and Adam run into each other again.  Adam is dating Vanessa (Ophelia Lovibond – Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Nowhere Boy) and Emma is doing her residency at the nearby hospital.  They exchange numbers, but the phone calls are never made.

Today Adam works as an assistant on a television program, but he really wants to be a television script writer.  His father Alvin (Kevin Kline – A Fish Called Wanda, Wild Wild West) is a famous television star, so he is kinda living in his shadow. Adam has broken up with Vanessa, who he finds out is now dating his father.

Understandably upset by this nugget of information, Adam drinks a lot and calls all the girls in his phone trying to find one to have sex with.  Next morning he wakes up naked on a couch he doesn’t recognize.  He is actually at Emma’s.  Nothing happened between them the night before as he was too drunk.  But before she leaves for the hospital they do have sex.

Emma doesn’t want anyone to know they had sex.  She is the queen of non commitment telling Adam that she is no good in relationships and wants to remain just friends.  To keep Emma in his life Adam agrees to have just a casual, sexual relationship.  The rule established is that it will go on until one of them starts feeling something.  Bad idea…

If you are looking for curveballs then keep looking as this film is straightforward and predictable.  It goes and ends exactly where you would expect it to.  Now, this is not the problem as most romantic comedies end with the couple fighting against whatever odds to be together.  What really are to blame is the poor acting by Portman or more precisely the fish out of water element to her performance and the weak script.  The Portman factor I’ve already discussed, so moving right along.

The jokes all fall flat, each scene goes on too long – that I blame on director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes), a veteran of the comedy film genre who should have know better, and the whole thing in general is too long.  Really two hours to come to the conclusion we all knew was going to happen?  Come on!!  Tons of filler in the middle part of the film that could have been lopped off (again was Reitman asleep in the director’s chair?  Can’t say that I actually blame him though).

Special Features:

-Sex Friends: Getting Together
-Inside the Sassy Halls of Secret High
-Modern Love: The Dos and Don’ts
-Deleted Scenes
-Alternate Storyline Scenes

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