Sunday, February 20, 2011


RYAN: I had very low expectations for the new romantic comedy No Strings Attached, which stars Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman, and Bruce Willis's son, Ashton Kutcher.CAROLINE: [laughs] I went in with low expectations too, but I was hopeful that it could be really funny. We love rom coms and haven't seen a good one in a while; and given the cast, I was thinking this one might be good. I was sorely mistaken.RYAN: Well, we're going to have to agree to disagree because I kind of liked this movie. It's not an instant classic or anything, but I was surprised at its originality and lack of clich�.CAROLINE: Yeah, it's original until Friends With Benefits comes out this summer. I did like the premise - can you build a real romantic relationship with your sex buddy - but the script was lame. I found a lot of the scenarios totally unfunny, silly and over the top. I kept wondering why Natalie Portman was in this. Isn't she supposed to be taking her career more seriously now?RYAN: I feel like she's turned a corner though because truly she isn't the best actress out there, but now she's got Black Swan, which is clearly the best performance she's ever given, and I also thought she felt a lot in this one. She plays a pretty cold person though, so maybe that helped.CAROLINE: I think she wanted this movie to show her as a 'normal' girl who hangs out with her friends, uses profanity and talks about sex, which is fine; I just find her acting stiff and awkward.RYAN: I'm just glad it wasn't Jennifer Aniston or Katherine Heigl in the role.CAROLINE: This does seem like the kind of mediocre movie that Jennifer Aniston would be in though, if she were 15 years younger. I know they were going for a raunchy rated R comedy, and I laughed a few times, but it wasn't nearly funny enough. I was never grossed out - there weren't poop jokes or anything - but there were a few overt sexual scenarios that didn't work at all.RYAN: I'll give you that. And I really like Lake Bell as an actress, but I didn't buy her at all as Ashton Kutcher's work friend/sidekick. She's too gorgeous to be a character actress. That role should have gone to... um... what's her name?CAROLINE: Judy Greer. She always plays the best friend.RYAN: Exactly. Someone not as attractive. Then there's Greta Gerwig from last year's Greenberg, in her most mainstream role yet; a glorified cameo from Cary Elwes, who basically has one line; and Kevin Kline as Ashton's dad. He's great, as always. I didn't even know he was in the movie.CAROLINE: Me neither. That was one of the few things I liked about the movie - spotting all the different actors in small roles who you weren't expecting to see. There was also Abby Elliott from SNL, and that cute blonde Mollee from Season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance. RYAN: OMG yes!! I couldn't place her till just now! She's so cute.CAROLINE: Basically, I was somewhat into the first 20-30 minutes of the movie - not loving it, but enjoying it enough - and then I realized it just wasn't very good. I started to get bored.RYAN: It's definitely a little too long by about 10 or 15 minutes, but I was entertained the whole time and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I liked this better than any rom com of 2010.CAROLINE: Clearly, you're forgetting The Switch, which was much cuter.RYAN: I do have to say that Ashton Kutcher's wardrobe was heinous. That blue and black checked jacket at the end?? Who would ever wear that? And his hair was basically a bowl cut.CAROLINE: The best part about this movie for me was seeing familiar faces and actors I enjoy, but the script was lame and the quality of the acting wasn't enough to elevate it. -- BOTTOM LINE --RYAN: I had a good time at this movie, and I'd recommend it for the chick flick audience. I enjoyed it.CAROLINE: I, for the most part, did not. This is a rental at best, though I'm not sure I can even recommend renting it. Maybe if you're hung over on the couch and it comes on cable, you could watch it and laugh once or twice. But don't get too excited for it.-- RATING --Cheeky & Fresh Movie Reviews

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