No Strings Attached

COMEDY; 1hr 48min

STARRING: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig, Olivia Thirlby, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges

Souped up: Kutcher and Portman

Emma and Adam (Portman and Kutcher) meet cute-ish at camp as kids and reconnect in later life when he is an aspiring TV writer and she is a bright-spark student doctor. They have impulse sex and there’s something there, but Emma is “not good” at relationship stuff so proposes that the two of them use each other purely as F-word buddies. Although this is patently tricky, Adam is so keen that he agrees. And with director Ivan Reitman taking genial charge, off they go! And go!


Frankly, Emma is nuts not to snap Adam up: he’s a Care Bear and crazy about her — and how many men look like Ashton Kutcher? But her commitment issues keep rearing their pesky heads, which, while hardly groundbreaking brain food, hums divertingly along on the combined strengths of the stars and their smart supporting cast. Laughs-wise, it’s no crack-up but Elizabeth Meriwether’s screenplay is playful and heartfelt with a sprinkling of giggles and her characters are appealing enough get a kick out of — with no strings, of course.