What You Need To Know:
Portman, Kutcher and the rest of the cast are terrific in NO STRINGS ATTACHED. The movie’s final point that commitment is vital to a satisfying life is a message Christians and media-wise viewers will like, but the excessive raunchiness, vulgarity and cavalier attitude in the movie’s first half will drive them away. Others may just grow bored with this couple. The story’s happy ending ultimately isn’t unique enough to make NO STRINGS ATTACHED memorable. Recently, Hollywood has been trying to sell R-rated romantic comedies and dramas, but they aren’t very clever and don’t appeal to a broad audience.
(RoRoRo, B, Ho, LLL, V, SSS, NN, AA, DD, M) Very strong Romantic, anything-goes worldview initially, but leads find commitment is better, plus some homosexual references; more than 31 obscenities and profanities, plus much off-color language and jokes mentioning body parts; one comedic punch by male lead, who punches his father for admitting he’s having an affair with son’s old girlfriend; very strong sexual content includes implied fornication, a pair of montages show the main couple in a variety of sexual situations mostly played for laughs, man walks through apartment naked as women and a homosexual ogle him, positive portrayal of homosexuality through one friend, sexual innuendo, father of male lead is having affair with son’s ex-girlfriend and asks for approval, and crude jokes about body parts; rear male nudity and upper male nudity, plus implied full nudity; male lead gets drunk and is hung over next morning; father and male lead share a marijuana joint casually; and, some miscellaneous immorality includes father and son argue.
NO STRINGS ATTACHED tries to put a modern spin on the timeworn romantic comedy formula, as it shows a young pair of friends, Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher), who decide to have casual sex without any commitments. The movie further twists the traditional norms of relationships by the fact that Emma is the one who wants to eschew commitments and emotions, and Adam is the one who wants a true lasting life partnership.
The movie starts off with a lot of comical – but raunchy and amoral – energy as it attempts to show the alleged fun the couple are having. As time passes, however, Adam falls for Emma, and things get somewhat complicated as she hides a deep secret about why she refuses to become seriously involved with any man. Basically, she’s been shaken deeply by the untimely death of her father and fears losing another man.
Ultimately, the movie drags through Adam’s attempts at a “real” date as it slogs along with uninventive scenes that become repetitive as the couple argues or grows apart before the inevitable reconciliation. The movie errs in its writing by making the audience and Adam wait so long to learn Emma’s problem that she comes off as an unsympathetic shrew for much of the movie. This throws the central relationship’s appeal off balance. By the time they get together, the story feels rather rote, although the movie does commendably show that commitment is vital to happiness, even though the couple is still cohabitating without marriage. The implication, though, is that the relationship will last and they will marry, since they’ve already been friends for over a decade.
Portman, Kutcher and the rest of the cast are terrific. The movie’s final message of commitment being vital to a satisfying life is a message media-wise viewers will like, but they will be turned off by the excessive raunchiness and cavalier attitude in the movie’s first half. Others may just grow bored with this couple. The happy ending ultimately isn’t unique enough to make NO STRINGS ATTACHED memorable.
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