Emma (Natalie Portman) is funny and sad but she refuses to acknowledge her sadness. Adam (Ashton Kutcher) is freakishly happy and fairly normal. Boy meets girl, girl has sex with boy and that keeps happening for awhile. I won't spoil the ending, but if you have a brain and have ever seen a movie starring Matthew McConaughey, you know the rest of the story. The plot is not complex; it's already played out on the big screen 1,001 times. Nothing about the story made me like No Strings Attached; it was essentially boring. That is not to say that at any point in the movie was I bored. I was not bored, I was actually very entertained and a little surprised by how dirty it got at points. The writing of individual scenes was strong. I want to shake the hand of the man or woman responsible for the banter between Emma's roommates; this person is brilliant. There is one scene that involves a mix cd that still makes me giggle just thinking about it.
The acting was... well it was not bad, and most of the cast is recognizable. I spent half the film trying to figure out if one of the doctors was Wesley from The Princess Bride (it is), Mindy Kaling is a sassy friend of Natalie Portman's character and Guy Branum from Chelsea Lately portrays the even sassier friend. Ashton Kutcher is not going outside of his comfort zone, but he is believably sweet and the kind of man that women want to have fall in love with us. Natalie Portman's quirky side, as we saw in Garden State, shines through for the first time in years and she does it well, making Emma extremely endearing.
If 27 Dresses and Knocked Up had a lovechild, it would be No Strings Attached. It's not groundbreaking or profound but it is entertaining and cute. Also, did I mention that Wesley from the Princess Bride is in it? Bonus points for casting a legend.
Since I walked out of the theater showing No Strings Attached, I have strongly considered writing an open letter to the writers of these rom-coms. But I am pretty sure it won't make much of a difference, and the truth is I am not sure if I want these terribly awful films to be changed. No Strings Attached is one of those movies that makes me whine about it being "soooo typical" and wishing for "a new twist." But are there new twists? When it comes right down to it, we all know how this ends, and no girl (or guy) will pay to see a movie starring Ashton Kutcher where we don't get the happy ending. So I sit here, torn. How do I really feel about No Strings Attached? I have no idea.