Friday, January 21, 2011

Movie Review: No Strings Attached

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Did you ever see the cartoon strip of Snoopy and how he feels on the days of the week? He's all happy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday he feels down and gets worse on Tuesday and then on Wednesday there is a storm cloud over head, the thunder and lighting are going while it rains on the dog laying there under the cloud getting soaked. The caption says "Please let me die." That's how I sort of feel this month with the selection of movies released this January. Only two releases this week and I was hoping this one would make me laugh with No Strings Attached!

It stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as directed by Ivan Reitman. You know, the guy who gave us Meatballs and the Ghostbusters classic comedies. Portman and Kutcher play Emma and Adam. A boy and a girl who met 15 years previous at summer camp and end up crossing paths a few times in the years after. It's now the present day and they run into each other in Los Angeles. He lives there already and she just moved out there for a medical residency. There's some chemistry between the two or at least that's what they want you to believe.

He wants her but she's not having any of it until they come to a compromise. They can have all the intimate relations they want. Oh, I used the word intimate. That's wrong. For some reasoning that we weren't privy to during the course of the 110 minutes of the movie, she's blocked out men from having any sort of meaningful relationship with her. She seems to be damaged goods but we're left scratching our heads as to why. She doesn't want the intimacy. Emma just wants the physical portion and nothing else. Both she and Adam can do what they want with others if they would like.

This works for a while. The obligatory montage with the different times, places and circumstances where the two meet just to show us the audience that they like as Austin Powers would say, "have a randy shag, oh yeah baby!" OK, we get it, they get it on quite frequently. In one scene the audience gets to see Ashton's butt, or was it a stand in. Don't know. Portman shows us what is the equivalent of a two piece bikini. As a result, the movie was rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material.

For his hang up, it was trying to make it in Hollywood. He's a production assistant on a what looks like it might be a knock off on the Disney Channel 's High School Musical. His father Alvin (Kevin Kline) is a former star for a sitcom. If this movie ever gets the Rocky Horror Picture Show treatment, make sure you bring lots of toilet paper with you because Alvin's moniker line is "Great Scott!" and it gets repeated quite a bit. Everyone assumes that Adam is hanging off of his dad's coat tails when in actuality he's truly trying to make it on his own without his father's help.

She's stone cold and keeps pushing him away. He's the good boy who really does want a relationship. A little different twist than most rom-coms. Does the boy get the girl? By the end of the movie I really couldn't have cared. They poked fun at doctors, camera phones, Hollywood and relationships. They all fell flat. Maybe if there were some strings attached they could have pulled together a better movie.

The Movie Monkey

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