No Strings Attached

Release date: January 21, 2011
Director: Ivan Reitman
Story by: Michael Samonek, Elizabeth Meriwether
Screenplay by: Elizabeth Meriwether
Cast: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Olivia Thirlby, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling

No Strings Attached, previously known as the Friends with Benefits movie or F*ck Buddies, is the story of Emma (Portman) and Adam (Kutcher), two people that had chance encounters in school, university and post-university, and end up establishing a symbiotic casual sex deal.

As the changes in titles are a hint, No Strings Attached is a pretty washed version of a Rated R comedy about sex. Except for a few curse words, and a scene with YoungEmma and YoungAdam and the suggestion of fingers, there’s nothing restrictive about this movie. In it, Natalie Portman plays Emma as a focused med-student — or doctor? — doing her residency in need of a wind-up.

Kutcher’s Adam shows up and meets her by chance after many years, almost at the same time he finds out his father, famous writer Alvin (Kline), is diddling his ex-girlfriend. Devastated, and kind of sick, he wastes himself in alcohol and random cell phone calls until any girl decides to sleep with him.

There is a major error in the concept of friends with benefits, in that Emma and Adam are not really friends. When they meet up again, they barely know each other. And though Adam may be in love, or maybe a little obsessed with Emma since the beginning, there’s really no indication Emma feels the same way for him. Her realization comes from the fact that she doesn’t have a shield to her little sister’s (Thirlby) wedding, and that her friend (Gerwig) was hanging out at Adam’s because she’s dating his roommate.

Though No Strings Attached has some chuckles, there’s not nearly enough chemistry between Portman and Kutcher, or enough spice to make this Rated R film worth your while. A pity too, because Kevin Kline, Olivia Thirlby, Greta Gerwig and Mindy Kaling are kind of wasted.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

11 Responses

  1. Castor says:

    I’m interested in seeing this although I will definitely wait for the DVD. The title certainly could be misleading if the two leads don’t appear to be friends ;)

    • Castor says:


      Also I just want to see Natalie Portman for the last time pre-pregnancy ahah ;)

      • amy says:

        @Castor, ok, I’ll give you that.

        I tried to stay as objective as possible in regards of Kutcher, since he really really bores me in anything he does… even annoys me as Kelso now.

        I think that with another male lead, and a different ending… it might have been into something. Funny thing is… some people have said “poor man’s 500 Days of Summer” which is weird because they’re really nothing alike. xD

  2. Julili says:

    I really want to know why this movie was made and why Portman chose to be in it, like wth?

    • amy says:

      @Julili, paycheck? xD

      I guess after something as intense as Black Swan, she wanted to do a romcom… which she hasn’t done much?

      • julili says:

        @amy, sure but she could have done soooo much better! I mean, if u see a script and Ashton Kutcher is attached to it then u run. Is she so desperate for the minivan?

    • Castor says:


      The Oscar curse!

      • julili says:

        @Castor, But this was pre Oscar! Is the curse getting bigger? *chills*

        • Castor says:


          That’s why it’s a curse, it was her fate to win the Oscar and then make tons of bad movies afterward ah!

        • amy says:

          @julili, the curse comes with bad movies and a would be split of her non-husband. Well, according to the curse for married women, it comes with a divorce… I’m not sure how it works for women who aren’t married or are still single.

          Maybe that’s why Greta Garbo never won!

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