Portman, who is rapturously photographed throughout, gets to showcase her underappreciated comedic timing. Generally positive word-of-mouth and a more streamlined marketing campaign should benefit this film, though, and make it a solid theatrical performer with ificant holdover ancillary appeal.
A couple breezy set pieces establish a history between Emma Kurtzman Portman and Adam Franklin Kutcherteenage camp friends whose romantic curiosities orbit one another but never align until the pair reunites many years later in Los Angeles. Emma is in medical residency, Adam is a production assistant and would-be writer, as well as the son of an aging, self-centered TV star, Alvin Kevin Kline.
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A drunken night of attempted booty calls le Adam back to Emma, and a curious arrangement is struck. Wanting to avoid the attendant emotional muddle of an actual relationship, Emma proposes a mutual-use physical relationship. Hassle-free fun works for a while, but more profound feelings eventually bubble up.
This same conceit — at once fluffy and throwaway, but also interested in shifts in the modern dating landscape impacted by technology and many couples waiting until much later to get married, if at all — could suffer mightily in lesser hands.
Veteran director Ivan Reitman, however, is a skilled comedy craftsman, able both to build engaging scenes and maintain some semblance of an emotional throughline. Still, No Strings Attached is a movie that has the courage to trust in its characters and the stars playing them enough to let them be a bit disagreeable or cavalier in their treatment of others, knowing that the audience will be eventually won over by the honest expression of their viewpoint.
She evinces a nice rapport with Kutcher, who can pull off rakish, easygoing, himbo banter almost better than anyone else in his generation.
Supporting cast members deliver uniformly strong performances as well, especially Kline, who late in the film pulls off a rather remarkable seriocomic confession while his character is strung out on painkillers. Eighth annual celebration of Ibero-American audiovisual industry returned to in-person event in Madrid.
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Dir: Ivan Reitman. Topics Americas Features.
No strings attached
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