Can two people be “friends with benefits” without it affecting them and those around them? Without becoming emotionally attached and connected to one another? That’s what No Strings Attached attempts to answer. This rather realistic romcom handles this more adult-oriented subject matter in a fashion that melds comedy, drama, romance, emotion, believability, and personality all in one. It delivers on these levels and more….surprisingly!
Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman play the parts of Adam and Emma, respectively, who have known each other (distantly) since childhood. Upon receiving a certain amount of “disturbing news” Adam happens upon Emma and the two of them, after a series of events and happenstance meetings, decide to become “friends with benefits” in order to use each other anytime, anyplace. The goal= to enjoy the physical benefits and pleasures of a committed marital relationship without the “downside” of baggage and drama that comes along with being in such a relationship. The agreement made seems do-able to both Adam and Emma at first…..until someone begins to have feelings towards the other one. And thus, the conflict develops!
What makes this film so great is the characters themselves…most of them, anyways…and just how believable and real they are portrayed. A great cast including Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman along with several talented supporting actors such as Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (The Fast and The Furious), Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Mindy Kaling (The Office), and others. The performance of each of these stars tied their characters to one another and to the audience to create a sense of reality that everyone can relate to. The onscreen relationship/emotion of Adam and Emma can seem so real at times that when watching it, you yourself may end up having certain emotions evoked. They are both busy in life, working for success, have personal struggles of their own, and are trying to make an emotionless committment to each other without being attached to each other. Portraying a great sense of realism attaches them to the audience greatly establishing a bond between themselves and the viewers. The cast causes many of their own feelings to be felt by those that watch the movie.
No Strings Attached successfully depicts the supposed delights and dangers of such an agreement as Adam and Emma’s. Going into this film, I was expecting a general run-of-the-mill rom-com and was greatly surprised as to the successful storytelling and character development! While some parts of the story (specifically towards the resolution and the ending), remain somewhat unbelievable, too convenient, and predictable, it still manages to impress so much more than other films that share the same genre. Will their agreement prove to be successful or stupid? I think you already know the answer!
Be advised, this film is rated R for language, sexual content, and drug references, as you would expect, but it is not overtly pushing it all in your face, which is a nice change for a movie that has the subject of sex as its basis. No Strings Attached definitely ties together a great blend overall of the subject material, emotion, comedy, and romance!
With Valentine’s Day being this weekend…expect No Strings Attached to have some HIGH box office numbers! I enjoyed this film a whole lot more than I expected to.
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!
–TheSp1der’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars for “No Strings Attached”
For further input on this movie, here is a vid of my friend, the Amazing Casey Messer, interviewing fans after their first viewing for ReelzChannel’s First Fans! Thanks, Casey! Enjoy!