No Strings Attached

Year: 2011
Production Co: Cold Spring Pictures
Studio: Paramount
Director: Ivan Reitman
Producer: Ivan Reitman
Writer: Elizabeth Meriwether/Mike Samonek
Cast: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig, Olivia Thirlby, Cary Elwes, Mindy Kaling

Natalie Portman's grown up outside this world of studio rom-coms but her burgeoning kudos from films like Black Swan is giving her the clout to do anything she likes, and I for one don't begrudge her wanting to do a predictable slushie full of comic zingers. If anything, she lifts the material just by being there, like rubbing sweet smelling deodorant in your armpits.

It's also interesting to see her do this sort of movie because we don't usually equate her with anything this light and fluffy, unlike her co-star. She's Emma, a trainee doctor who knows what she wants and what she doesn't, and she certainly doesn't want a relationship. She meets free spirited Adam (Kutcher, very much in his element) they decide to become friends with benefits and if you can't guess by the title where this is going you must not have watched a movie for about 30 years.

Perhaps mindful of the predictable nature of the whole thing it seems the studio, director and writers have decided to abandon the flavour that would usually attract the likes of Katherine Heigl and given it a bit of an edge with some of the language and some of the content.

But along with having as many laughs as you expect it's not without problems. Every other character seems to be the comic sidekick type and it can get all a little too clever with itself. But it's certainly worth seeing Portman do something silly, like watching a stuffy old Aunt get drunk and do tricks at Christmas dinner.

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