No Strings Attached is supposed to be “every” guy’s, and some women’s best fantasy… This concept is repeatedly verbalized by the supporting characters of Eli (Jake M. Johnson)and Wallace (Ludacris). In case you are unaware, NSA means having sex with no commitment or expectations.

The first 10 minutes begin with a mix of caring, boldness, and comedic subtlety that I have not seen in a while. Unfortunately, it was not maintained… As this was directed by Ivan Reitman, I was expecting a bit more. While I didn’t not enjoy this movie, (yes, that was a double negative), let’s just say I am waiting for the unrated DVD.

The story actually begins 15 years ago, when Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) are teenagers at summer camp. Frome there, they have a few random (non sexual) encounters until “current day.” Emma is in residency, and anybody who has seen Scrubs knows that doctors-to-be do not have a lot of free time. The morning AFTER a hard night of drinking on Adam’s part, and an early morning hookup with Emma, the NSA plan is formed. From here we descend into romantic comedy territory with mostly familiar scenes and the required montage.

Back to supporting characters… I really wanted to see more of them. More Eli, Wallace, Shira (Mindy Kaling), and Patrice (Greta Gerwig). The friends surrounding the relationship had quite a bit of potential in themselves that was never utilized. Most notably, Wallace. I don’t remember if we even found out his name on screen. Why use a character like Ludacris, and have his most memorable line be, “Look at my face.” I’m not saying he is the most talented person in Hwood, but I doubt he is cheap, and I know he has more range than what we saw here.

Maybe I had too many expectations… The teeth I was hoping this film would have just didn’t sustain. How edgy can this topic be anymore? Craigslist has a whole section dedicated to it. Natalie Portman continues her determined walk away from the perceived girl next door image, (If she ever had one. Especially after The Professional and Black Swan), with some stimulating scenes. I will give kudos to the period playlist… (I don’t consider this a spoiler as it is listed on the official website). Overall, NSA was sufficiently entertaining, even if my sides were not in pain from laughing the whole way through.

One thought on “NSA

  1. Steve Oatney

    It almost feels like there should be another category for these types of romantic comedies, which aren’t trying to be side-splitting humor, nor are they trying to be your run-of-the-mill romance novel. Maybe a new category of something like: “Semi-Romantic Sorta-Comedy.” Hmm, might need to brainstorm a bit more on this one. Thanks for your review!

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