It is always fun when you enter into something with a certain expectation and get thrown by a surprise twist or circumstance. The film No Strings Attached, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, is not your typical romantic comedy. Directed by Ivan Reitman, it is not the usual boy meets girl, they fall in love amid some sweet moments and “voila,” happy ending. Here, the premise is that Portman’s character Emma is a medical resident who thinks love is a complication she does not have time for. Enter Adam, the warm and fuzzy Kutcher, who she tags as her “no strings attached” lover. Emma and Adam’s sexual relationship begins with them setting some ground rules. If anyone starts to have romantic inklings, the fun stops. Only problem is, Adam has them from the start and Emma is so guarded that she wouldn’t allow herself to feel them anyway. This whole backward approach to love opens up some unique opportunities to gain both a laugh and a heart-tug at the same time. Here is the thing. No Strings Attached is a sweet and funny movie. I laughed and shed a tear or two. What I was not prepared for, however, was how raunchy it was. The opening scene made my jaw drop and a confused guffaw get stuck in my throat. What I found interesting though, was how closely it came to being offensive. I was always just shy of thinking they had gone too far. I am not sure if I would necessarily call it a surprise, but another element to experiencing this movie is Portman’s performance. She is just coming off an absolute whirlwind of critical success over her taut and intense portrayal of a tragic and gifted ballerina in Black Swan. This is not that performance. She is naked and drunk and making silly choices. However, you still can marvel at her ability to convey vulnerability within her circumstances. Kutcher, though “marvel” would be a stretch, is such a cute, warm, open guy in this film. Add in his good looks, and he is a mighty fine leading man. No Strings Attached is a film worth seeing. It may not boast the most mature approach to the subject of love, but it does so in a fun, frivolous and frothy way.
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.