For the romantic comedy audience – those who attend movies of this genre out of a genuine love for this sort of thing – No Strings Attached delivers what it promises
Romantic comedies are a little like junk food: they’re not healthy or sophisticated but, when made right, there’s something addictive about their tasty familiarity. There are no surprises, nasty or otherwise. The guy will capture the girl’s heart (or vice versa) and the courtship rhythms are pre-ordained. The story is so familiar that it’s like watching a re-run of something you have seen before but with different actors, a different locale, and (if you’re lucky) a few new twists. Romantic comedies are popular because they are non-threatening and offer wish fulfillment. Failed examples typically don’t work because the screenplay isn’t sufficiently focused on the romance or because the leads are mis-matched. „Chemistry” is an overused term in the film industry, but it is, without question, the #1 factor in determining the effectiveness of a motion picture residing in this genre.
No Strings Attached, Natalie Portman’s follow-up to her likely Oscar nominated role in Black Swan, falls into the competent-but-not-terrific category. It does most of the romantic comedy things right, including offering occasional laughs, providing a host of annoying and/or pointless secondary characters, and saving declarations of love for the last act, even though it’s clear the feelings exist long before they are voiced. To the extent that there’s a problem, it can be laid at the feet of the male lead. While there’s nothing about his character that’s a stretch for Ashton Kutcher, the actor’s limitations are evident from the beginning. He looks good, but these still waters don’t run deep. If one was to pick a male lead based primarily on physical appeal, Kutcher might be a good choice, but even in a movie with as thin and threadbare a plot as this one, he brings too little to the production. (więcej…)