திருக்குறள் (Thirukural)

Saturday 19 February 2011

Movie:No Strings Attached

No Strings Attached (2011)


Despite the title change to a more marketable name, the dialogue is cut from a similar mold as Judd Apatow’s brand of raunchy humor, only with some welcome gender reversal, finally giving the actress some filthy jokes for a change. If you thought Portman’s “SNL” appearance was hilarious, wait until you see her talking about riding a guy bareback or riffing on testicle implants. As a sort of Garden State meets Knocked Up, the script combines the offbeat feel of Portman’s indie hit and the latter’s foul-mouthed one-liners.

Adam (Kutcher) is a production assistant on a terrible sitcom — no, not “Shit My Dad Says” — and an aspiring stand-up comedian. He’s disillusioned with the idea of love after his dad, a famous actor, starts dating his former girlfriend of four years. While I would have prefered Jason Segel for this part, Kutcher’s Kelso from “That ’70s Show” will have to do.

Emma (Portman), a young doctor in training, is equally cynical about romance, stemming from her parent’s rocky marriage and a distant connection with her mother. She compares being in a committed relationship to a suffocating peanut allergy in her blunt, quirky brand of humor. ”The way I see it, we’re all just these big dumb animals who, for the most part, just want to have sex with each other,” Emma tells Adam. “So maybe we should stop beating ourselves up for what we feel and make sweet bone.” I think I’m in love, er, lust.

The script takes you through the beginning of their friendship, starting with an awkward summer camp “freak” dance to some TLC and a dumpster-side make-out session at the age of 12. Then, at chance meeting at a frat party years later, she tricks him into going to her father’s funeral and they grow closer by playing pranks and watching Bambi together.

A drunk dial sets up their first sexual encounter, a playful scene with plenty of funny back-and-forth bedroom banter. What other comedy is going to give you Natalie Portman claiming she goes on “dick tasting tours in Napa Valley” during a blowjob and commenting on its “oakiness” flavor? Naturally, the pair strikes up a relationship as “friends with benefits,” or “fuck buddies,” complete with ground rules to keep Adam strictly her “renewable source of dick” and nothing more. Rules like “no calling in the middle of the day and saying you were ‘just thinking about me.’ No crying. No jealousy. No saying my penis is cute even if it’s dressed up like a Care Bear and it’s giving you a care-stare.” You know, the essentials.

They both try seeing other people (she dates Cary Elwes), coping with jealousy, and sorting out their family issues, each with helpings of humor and sentimentality. Unfortunately, the script follows a predictable trajectory as the characters separately realize their true feelings, but Meriwether injects enough laughs into the cookie-cutter situations that the progression still remains entertaining.

The early, undated draft I read dragged a little in the third act, moving slowly through the familiar “will they or won’t they” material, but, like its Black List status suggests, this is a very funny script. The trailer (see below) looks awful and not representative of its source, so hopefully Paramount hasn’t dialed down the language. Its foul-mouthed humor is what makes Adam and Emma more realistic adults and sets this high-concept romantic comedy apart from the generic rom-coms starring Jennifer Aniston or… well, Ashton Kutcher.
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • Director: Ivan Reitman
  • Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman, Kevin Kline
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Source: http://review-movie-boxoffice.blogspot.com/2010/12/no-strings-attached.html
 

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