I love that with the advent of Sex and the City
that studios are all like “A-ha! Women love talking about sex just as much as men! And they can be raunchy too! Let’s capitalize on this!” It was only a matter of time before romantic comedies geared at women would also start to market this newfound realization that women have potty mouths too. Take, for example, this year’s Going the Distance
, a not-great movie that tried to toe the line between sweet, quirky rom com and raunchy sex comedy. No Strings Attached
suffers the same problem, except it lacks the likability of Justin Long and is replaced instead with the awful presence of Ashton Kutcher.
Just, please don’t tell me, Ivan Reitman, that this film is a feminist romantic comedy
. I might barf again. No Strings Attached
is the story of Adam (Kutcher), a lowly assistant on a Glee-
esque TV show with a famous dad (Kevin Kline), who meets Emma (Natalie Portman), a medical intern who doesn’t want any romantic attachments. So, of course, the two decide to just have sex, no strings attached without the promise of feelings—or breakfast. Along for the ride are their goofy friends, Greta Gerwig, Ludacris, Jake M. Johnson, and Mindy Kaling. Can these two learn how to make sex uncomplicated without falling in love? Spoiler Alert: no, of course not.
Yes, No Strings Attached
is insanely formulaic. Extremely. But it decides to up the rom com antics by trying to take on Judd Apatow with raunchy jokes. However, No Strings Attached
feels more like SATC
reruns on TBS: watered down and more sitcom-y. There’s really nothing raunchy or sex comedy about this film minus a few well-placed jokes about menstruation. Sure, I giggled a few times. I have to admit that Natalie Portman is actually funny. She is, by far, the best part of this film. Kevin Kline would take that prize if he was given more to do, but…alas.
And then there is Kutcher. He is…Ashton Kutcher, which is, to say, terrible.
But I fail to see how Reitman, a comedy master, deems No Strings Attached
as a feminist romantic comedy. I get that it’s somehow empowering that women want sex, but it just makes the characters in this film out to be hard-heartened shrews who hate feelings. No Strings Attached
is a pretty "meh" film. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. I’m glad Portman is in it rather than Katherine Heigl, but even she can’t save it from the awfulness that is Ashton Kutcher. I’m holding out for Friends with Benefits
to get my raunchy rom com fill.