When I used to go to the movies, I would hate it when ANYONE made ANY noise at all. Now, I am more laid back. I still hate it when people are disrespectful, but more forgiving in the ‘ANY noise’ department. So when I saw No Strings Attached and some young lady near the middle of the theater LOL’ed, LO very L’ed I should say, I actually didn’t mind. Sure, part of me was like, “Really? This is what you find funny? Its so easy… its been done before… its kind of lazy…” but another part of me found it oddly fascinating. I could envision Producers watching a room full of young ladies with very distinct laughters going “We KNEW that was funny! YEAH!” And seeing an average, very unambitious comedy thrive in its target audience’s laughter is actually, in a way, movie-masochistically appealing.
The Story: Adam (Kutcher) and Emma (Portman) are sort of friends, who through luck (or destiny) keep running into each other in life until they decide to start boning without dating. What could go wrong?
The thing about NSA, is that for every two ‘easy/lazy’ jokes (girls like to eat when they are sad! and once you get married you don’t have sex! (which doesn’t even make sense because this marriage advice is coming from someone who isn’t even married yet)) there is one actually good/funny joke. Director Ivan Reitman hasn’t had a good movie in a decade, but somehow this movie feels like its at least trying, just a little bit, to be like his older comedies.
The only real big downfall here is that we all know how this is going to end (this isn’t the downfall yet). Adam and Emma start having sex, start having feelings, split up, then get back together and end “Happily Ever After”. If this is your very first RomCom it may be surprising, but otherwise its expected. But here’s the deal, the characters spend way too much time in the ‘one sided falling in love/breaking up part’ that means half the movie is just them moping around. Sure there are still jokes, mostly in the form of the supporting cast trying to cheer them up, but still, lets keep this happy go lucky movie happy.
One thing I would have liked to have seen is why Emma is so cold and distant in her relationships. She spouts out lines like “I’m just not good at this sort of thing” or “I’m so cold and distant in relationships” but we never get to see why. I’m not saying I would like to see the reasoning behind this so I can understand the character’s motivation more, but it could have been a nice funny montage that provided laughs as well as a simple reason. Its a comedy, why not have more opportunity for it?
While I’ve never really had anything against Kutcher (I actually ‘praised’ him for being the best male lead in Valentine’s Day) and ever since The Professional but now especially because of Black Swan I absolutely love Natalie Portman. In this movie they do their jobs and they do them well. The supporting cast also does a great job of supporting, never taking over the movie but just adding in different spices here and there.
In Conclusion: Its not bad enough to hate yourself for sitting through it but once is enough. Good looking people make bad decisions and are rewarded for it by finding true love. Happily Ever After.
Final Grade: C+