Eventually, everyone in Emma’s life, including her roommates and fellow doctors Shira (played by Mindy Kaling) and Patrice (portrayed by Greta Gerwig) and her sister Katie (played by Olivia Thirlby), sees a potential relationship for her and Adam. But Emma refuses to listen to them and follow her heart, as she’s afraid she’ll get hurt.
Screenwriter Elizabeth Meriwether deserves credit for infusing a unique idea of making her lead female character commitment-phobic instead of the lead male in the redundant rom-com sub-genre. However, Meriwether continuously reminded audiences that �No Strings Attached’ is her first major screenplay, as she failed to include any of the elements that make a rom-com successful. While Adam occasionally gives Emma romantic glances and tells people he is starting to care for her, he never proves his true love to her. He also wants to protect his image so much that he doesn’t want to fight for her.
Meanwhile, Emma is afraid of opening up to Adam, as she doesn’t want to get hurt. While audiences may assume that Emma emotionally shut down after her father died in the beginning of the movie, she refuses to discuss anything serious, and instead just wants to live in the moment.
Kutcher’s ease at portraying the crazy, easy-going male lead, as seen in his previous rom-coms, including �Just Married,’ �A Lot Like Love’ and �What Happens in Vegas,’ helped Portman become comfortable in carrying a fun love story
Even though the script for �No Strings Attached’ doesn’t follow typical rom-com forum, as there are no external obstacles keeping Emma and Adam apart, and their insecurities of being in a relationship is the only thing separating them, Portman and Kutcher’s chemistry does hold the movie together. With Kutcher’s help, Portman effortlessly transformed herself into a free-spirit after appearing as tormented ballerina Nina Sayers in �Black Swan.’
While �No Strings Attached’ isn’t the most unique romantic comedy ever written, director Ivan Reitman made the right decision in pairing Kutcher and Portman together. While the two are comfortable on-screen next to each other, as they appear to be playing versions of themselves, their performances alone unfortunately won’t help the movie stand out as one of their career-defining projects.
- By Peter Rainer Film critic
Going in for a double dose of angst this season, Natalie Portman turns from “Black Swan” to play Emma, a young dpers away from emotional attachments. Her prime attachee is Ashton Kutcher’s Adam, an aspiring TV writer and the son of a famous blowhard sitcom star played by Kevin Kline.
Since Adam doesn’t seem like the masochistic type, his puppyish, sweet-souled love for her registers as more of a plot convenience than a plausibility
The stereotypical gender role reversal here is the gimmick. Emma is the one who just wants a sexual relationship without any emotional overload while Adam, who plays along with the setup, inevitably falls for her. Why he does so is something of a naviidte to tids site mystery, since Emma, while undeniably smart and pretty, is also undeniably abrasive.
No doubt there is a vast young audience out there clamoring to know the answer to the film’s conundrum about whether friends can have sex and still be friends. The answer provided here � one of many reasons why this film is not as “daring” as it pretends � is a resounding “no.” (This is no junior-division “Last Tango in Paris.”) That answer will likely make the film a big date-night smash, although these days who knows what qualifies as a date movie? I thought “Black Swan” would be the worst date movie since “Saw 3D” but I was wrong.