Film Review: "No Strings Attached"

(Paramount Pictures.  1 hour, 50 minutes.  Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material.  Directed by Ivan Reitman.)  Natalie Portman (Emma), Ashton Kutcher (Adam), Kevin Kline (Alvin), Greta Gerwig (Patrice), Cary Elwes (Dr. Metzner), Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges (Wallace).  Music by John Debney.
After discovering that his ex-girlfriend is now dating his famous father (Kline), aspiring writer Adam (Kutcher) goes on a drinking binge that lands him naked in the apartment of long-time acquaintance Emma (Portman).  The two hook up and make a pact, becoming friends-with-benefits, but can people have sex without falling in love?  A cute but almost painfully predictable rom-com.

There's really nothing new to say about a movie like this, though that's not why anyone goes to a romantic comedy.  If you saw the trailer, you already know whether or not this movie is for you.  The cast is very good, with Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig, Cary Elwes, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges  and The Office's Mindy Kaling delivering solid supporting performances.  Portman and Kutcher work decently well together, though Kutcher doesn't quite have the chops to keep up with the much more talented Portman.  Aside from a few rocky bits of dialogue, there's nothing inherently wrong with the movie; in fact, it's really not bad.  However, No Strings offers nothing in the way of surprises.  You know what's going to happen from scene one, and everything after is just killing time until all of the required beats are hit.  If you're in the market for a rom-com, you could do much worse, but there's just not much to recommend this one.
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Jared Counts

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Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies...