For a relationship promising emotion-free, around-the-clock, no-questions-asked sex, things get pretty tied up in “No Strings Attached.”
The romantic comedy that “Ghostbusters'” Ivan Reitman directs, opens quickly, covering the friendship of Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) from their awkward teenage years to a by-chance reunion in Los Angeles.
Emma, a busy medical student, has developed an unsentimental view of sex, while Adam, who works on the set of a “Glee”-like show, just learned that his girlfriend traded him in for his own father, a former TV star (Kevin Kline). Drink away the upsetting news, Adam goes on a drunk dialing rampage, determined to sleep with the first girl that agrees.
Adam awakes the next morning on the couch at Emma’s apartment, naked. With no recollection, Emma assures Adam they didn’t sleep together. But it isn’t long before they find themselves in bed again. Their relationship lives strictly on booty calls. They agree with this setup, admitting they aren’t looking for anything emotional .
Portman and Kutcher are easy on the eyes and make Emma and Adam such a convincing couple that it’s hard to imagine the pair in an uncommitted relationship — they just look like they belong together from the beginning. Portman, although playing the comedic role she seems to avoid, is natural and humorous. Kutcher plays the good-guy role well, but Meriwether leaves his character a little undeveloped at times.
The audience knows how the movie will end as soon as it begins, but Meriwether and Reitman manage to make the film humorous and entertaining along the way. The story might start with sex instead of ending with it, but other than that, it’s your average romantic comedy.