No Strings | Indy Week

No Strings

Rated NR 2011

Emma (Natalie Portman) is a frosty hospital resident, while Adam (Ashton Kutcher) assists behind the camera of a Glee-ish TV show. These acquaintances arrange to have sex-only dates, thus avoiding emotional entanglements. Last year, we were besieged by a spate of sperm-donor rom-coms, and now comes the dawn of the hook-up romance. Portman (who also produced) and Kutcher bring considerable energy to this slight concept, but it bogs down in genre cliché. I worry that younger moviegoers have no cinematic model for meaningful relationships, and this film proposes an appalling one. Screen romance should be a tad more aspirational, although Adam sensitively provides a box of cupcakes at a crucial juncture in one of the film's best scenes. Director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) knows comedy, and there are laughs as well as funny people (Kevin Kline, Ludacris, Abby Elliot et al., all wasted), but kowtowing to formula sabotages the lead couple's mojo.

Film Credits

Director: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Liz Meriwether

Producer: Jeffrey Clifford, Joe Medjuck and Ivan Reitman

Cast: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Cary Elwes, Kevin Kline, Olivia Thirlby, Lake Bell, Talia Balsam, Greta Gerwig, Phil LaMarr and Adhir Kalyan

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