With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, significant others everywhere will soon be scrambling to find ways to express their love for their partners. But if any couple’s Valentine’s Day plans include seeing “No Strings Attached,” odds are that couple won’t make it past St. Patrick’s Day — no man could possibly enjoy this movie.
“No Strings Attached”
At Quality 16 and Rave
A presumptuous statement, yes. As presumptuous as saying that the Earth rotates around the Sun.
“No Strings Attached” was written by an uncreative woman for even less-creative women. It’s got period jokes. It’s got girls-eat-when-they’re-upset jokes. It’s even got an ill conceived dig at Lil’ Wayne for the one black woman the producers thought would accidentally wander into a movie about Ashton Kutcher (“Killers”) and Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”).
Despite how scandalous this movie thinks it is, it’s essentially a horribly thought-out, poorly cast and even more poorly modernized “When Harry Met Sally.” Kutcher plays a promiscuous douchebag who inherited his money and sense of entitlement from his father, and — totally coincidentally — attended the University of Michigan, where was a member of a fraternity. Portman plays his love interest — an over-protected, innocent ballerina who ominously descends into madness as it becomes clear she might not be as innocent … wait, just kidding, she plays a total slut.
For a movie whose trailers and general storyline promised sex, sex and more sex, this film surprisingly underwhelms in that area (if any horny freshman was still planning on seeing this movie, hopefully that last sentence turned him or her off). Seriously though, despite the alarming number of people on Facebook who think this film is called “Sex Friends,” there really isn’t that much sex. At least, there isn’t any more than one would expect from a movie featuring Kutcher.
Beside its lack of sex, “No Strings Attached” honestly wants us to believe that the relational dilemmas produced when people have sex without commitment are new and previously unexplored. It also wants us to believe that Kutcher is funny doing anything but smoking pot in a basement on “That ’70s Show.”
The biggest mistake made by the creators of this film is assuming that our generation thinks of relationships as having the same pitfalls that films like “When Harry Met Sally” detailed so well for previous generations. The concept of “No Strings Attached” just isn’t a funny or accurate way to depict a contemporary relationship.
That’s not to say that we know any more about love or sex than our parents did, it’s just that by now — one would hope — humans understand that monogamy and promiscuity are two different things. And while people our age still get caught between wanting both at once, we’ve suffered through enough outdated jokes, enough video footage of Woodstock and enough chick flicks to know that, in the end, sex and love are not the same.