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Review: No Strings Attached

maxwell barna debuts his first solo piece on the site with a review of the no. 1 movie in america …

Dating a girl like mine means that I’ve gotten a front-row seat to every major romantic comedy and Twilight premiere within the past year and a half. I mean, I’ve seen everything from Dear John to Letters to Juliet, and every other over-budgeted, under-produced, over-hyped movie imaginable. Seriously, I was even forced to see The Notebook after being able to dodge it for over six years (a damn solid effort on my part). It is for this exact reason that I was not at all surprised when my girlfriend told me Saturday night that she wanted to see Ashton Kutcher’s newest film, No Strings Attached.

I’ve got to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. Now, I’m not equating it to something like Inglourious Basterds or Inception, but as far as a chick flick is concerned, this could have been far worse.

The film is about two summer camp friends, Adam (Kutcher) and Emma (Natalie Portman) who, after being separated for a lengthy amount of time, reconnect after Kutcher’s girlfriend cheats on him with his father Alvin (Kevin Kline). After a steamy hot sex session, the two decide to give the whole “friends with benefits” thing a crack.

Adam is a director for a TV sitcom strikingly similar to Fox’s Glee, but his real dream is to become a writer for the show. He spends his entire life living in the shadow of his father, a once-famous TV show star known for his famous catch phrase “Great Scott!” — which he repeats throughout the duration of the film.

Emma is a doctor trying to obtain residency at the hospital where she works, and is burdened by 34-hour shifts. And as we know, doctors are horny people, so naturally Emma’s only concern at the end of a 34-hour shift is having the freedom to call up a friend (Adam) to have sex with — no strings attached. Ha, get it?! That’s the overall premise of the movie. No seriously, that’s the premise of the movie.

And although anyone could have seen it coming, they eventually fall in love with each other, hate each other, have sex (a LOT of sex) with each other, and despite Emma’s general distrust for relationships, end up together.

And if the plot line doesn’t bag you, you also get to see Ashton Kutcher smoke weed and Natalie Portman fake an orgasm.

Honorable mention goes to Ludacris and Jake Johnson, who play Kutcher’s best friends Wallace and Eli. Nothing really special about them, but they definitely had me laughing out loud more than once. Ludacris’ “look at my face” bit was hysterical.

Directed by comedy vet Ivan Reitman (Animal House; Ghostbusters), the film, at its funny parts, was very amusing. To avoid spoiling it for anyone, I’ll simply leave it at this: “It’s like a crime scene in my pants.”


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  1. I knew this was going to be pretty awful and it was just so awkward for over half the movie. I don’t know if it was the audience I saw this with but a lot of the jokes got nothing but silence. Strings just didn’t know what it wanted to be…it felt like a mid-level comedy going for some edgy material, or an American Pie grade shock-comedy that pulled its punches. Good review, check out mine when you can!

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