Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the "How To" beat for "Composure" magazine and is assigned to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days." They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.
Occasionally in the 15 years since summer camp, Adam and Emma cross paths. When he discovers that an ex-girlfriend is living with his dad, he gets drunk, calls every woman in his cell phone contact list, and ends up passed out naked in her living room. By this time, she's a medical resident in L.A. and he's a gopher on a "Glee"-like TV series, hoping to be a writer. She guards her emotions (calling her father's funeral "a thing"), so after a quick shag in the moments she has before leaving for the hospital, she asks if he wants a no-strings-attached, sex-only relationship, without romance or complications. A prescription for fun or for disaster?Written by
Ashton Kutcher and Lake Bell had previously worked together in What Happens in Vegas (2008). See more »
Adam flinches and turns his head well before Emma slaps him in the emergency room. Not only was the slap unexpected, but Adam had taken painkillers, so he should have been far less likely to react that quickly. See more »
A weak, weak light comedy with a wasted Portman in the lead role
No Strings Attached (2011)
You expect more than you're going to get here. There are two strong leads, Natalie Portman at her finest relaxed self (seeming) and Ashton Kutcher in a slightly amusing, self-deprecating mode that is a little dulling but fits his part. But there isn't the necessary conflict here to make their attraction take on fire. They drift together, they push apart, they find each other again, and so on, all mildly engaging and a bit sleepy.
And don't expect much from Kevin Kline, either, mostly because his part is small and a bit canned, a caricature dad with too much to prove. The rest of the cast is frankly just functional, and you start to look harder at why the movie fizzles with so much apparent talent, especially Portman. And the only real answer is the director, who is more a producer at heart, Ivan Reitman. You can't fault the success of some of his movies, but it's an uneven bunch, from "Ghostbusters" to "Kindergarden Cop." Something lacks energy and imagination here, and the writing stretched a bit.
Enjoyable? Somewhat. Be warned, it's not funny, romantic, or energized enough to quite make it on any score.
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