Silver Chips Online

Attached to "No Strings"

Strong acting and likable characters bring this cliché to the top

By Allison Daitch, Online Managing Editor
January 23, 2011
Stick two versatile, experienced actors in a movie with superb dialogue and adorable characters. What do you get? An enjoyable, funny flick starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, who make up the cutest couple of the year. Despite a slightly overdone plot, "No Strings Attached" is a surprisingly entertaining film with charming actors and characters.

No Strings Attached

(released January 21, 2011)
Chips Rating:
4 stars
R
User Rating:
3.5 stars Votes: 7
Emma and Adam face many situations where it becomes difficult to keep their relationship solely physical.

Adam (Ashton Kutcher) and Emma (Natalie Portman) are old friends who risk their friendship by having unattached sex. In order to save their friendship and to work around Emma's hectic work schedule, they decide to keep their relationship as strictly friends with benefits. With no strings attached, they can do whatever they want, wherever they want and with whomever they want. Of course, it's never that simple. "Harry and Sally's" eternally unanswered question rears its ugly head again. Can two people keep their relationship strictly physical without other feelings getting in the way?

The plot has been done time and time again, each tackling that same question with a similar story. However, "No Strings Attached" brings a refreshing spin on this overdone rom-com plot through the use of talented actors, lovable characters and intriguing dialogue. Director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) also made an adjustment on the cliché by swapping the main characters. This time, the man wants to have a relationship but the woman has trouble with commitment. Reitman played it safe with an overdone storyline, but his choices within the cliché made this movie pure fun.

Emma and Adam face many situations where it becomes difficult to keep their relationship solely physical. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Emma and Adam face many situations where it becomes difficult to keep their relationship solely physical.
Despite the unoriginal idea, the sound acting by the main actors, Portman and Kutcher, allow them to develop lovable characters. Kutcher broke out of his rut of portraying a cocky, dominant figure and transforms into a charming, sensitive guy. Similarly, Portman continued her acting spree after "Black Swan," and completely changed into a more controlling yet funny character that compliments Kutcher perfectly. As awkward as some of the situations and conversations are, the duo always keeps it lighthearted and funny.

Surrounding the adorable couple, a hilarious supporting cast helps carry the film. Rapper Ludacris makes a rare big screen appearance, exceeding the low expectations for singers turned actors. Nearly every line that came out of his mouth grabbed a few chuckles and he created an amusingly sarcastic character.

Other aspects that set this film apart are the amusing conversations and dialogue. "No Strings Attached" is filled with memorable one – liners and great conversations between all members of the cast.

Acting and dialogue aside, the other aspects of the film were nothing to sneeze at. The cinematography is ordinary and the set is nothing special. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is not amazing, but does exhibit a variety of songs ranging from Outkast to bluegrass banjo music to trumpets playing the popular tune of "Don't Cha."

It's apparent that this is not a groundbreaking or life changing movie. It is another romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher, after all. The storyline is so recycled that Portman's "Black Swan" costar Mila Kunis' "Friends with Benefits," coming out this summer, follows the same premise. Still, something about this movie makes it stand out from all its predecessors. Whether it's the acting, the likable characters, the fun dialogue or a combination of them all, this movie is simply fun to watch.

"No Strings Attached" is 110 minutes and rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material. Now playing in theaters everywhere.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10625