Review: Natalie Portman sparkles in ‘No Strings connected’ romantic comedy

Review: Natalie Portman sparkles in ‘No Strings connected’ romantic comedy

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IVAN REITMAN — whose directing job (“Ghostbusters”) can be so long into the tooth which he really features a son, Jason, directing Oscar-worthy comedies — has their outing that is best in decades with “No Strings connected,” an amusing flip regarding the “friends with benefits” sex-leads-to-love romantic comedy formula.

It’s a film taking advantage of another gleaming, sexy and emotionally available performance by Natalie Portman, some clever turns in situations and witty banter that is not bashful about crossing over into “Hangover”-level raunchy.

Elizabeth Meriwether’s script has that “(500) times of Summer” gimmick, telling this couple’s tale in clumps more than a 15-year duration. Super-smart Emma met hunky-needy Adam at summer time camp in the past when, and so they had a fling that is momentary. 10 years later, they meet once again and pretty, flirty Emma (Portman) invites Adam to“this plain thing” she’s to visit. It’s her dad’s funeral. But dopey-handsome Adam (Ashton Kutcher, never cast against type) does not hear the “She’s take off from her emotions” warning bells, even though she confesses, “If you’re lucky, you’re never ever likely to see me personally once again.”

Another possibility encounter years later results in a trade of telephone numbers. After which, that magical when the boy drunk-dials the girl and something begins night. But don’t call it a romance that is thoroughly modern. Emma, now an MIT trained doctor, won’t have that. She’s busy. She’s guarded. And she’s interested in sex — somebody “in my sleep at 2 a.m.” — and absolutely nothing more.

They usually have their romps, but snuggling and so on — real closeness — scares her down. Therefore for Adam, the chase is on.

Portman, most likely an Oscar nominee for “Black Swan,” carries this film together with her heat along with her wicked means by having a incredibly crude come-on. Kutcher is much better at bringing the funny that in holding the weight that is emotional. Reitman didn’t abruptly evolve in to a warmer, much much much deeper filmmaker, either.

Nevertheless the director surrounds their leads with funny individuals saying witty things.

However the manager surrounds their leads with funny individuals saying witty things. Adam’s friend that is best (Jake M. Johnson) mocks him for providing their lady love a present of balloons — “Who do you consider you may be, the old man from ‘Up’?” Kevin Kline plays Adam’s has-been television star dad, a lecher whom believes absolutely nothing of taking on with certainly one of Adam’s ex-girlfriends. Lake Bell may be the leggy big white women nude but embarrassing, lovestruck co-worker at Adam’s task. (He’s a manufacturing associate on a “Glee”-like senior school musical show.)

And wonderful Greta Gerwig (“Greenberg”) spices up the role of Emma’s university pal, the only who scarcely outgrows that sorority girl’s mating call — “I’m so druuuuuunk.”

Whatever corners writer Meriwither paints herself into — and also this film appears stitched from a few current romances including “Rachel engaged and getting married” (Olivia Thirlby is Emma’s more youthful, matrimony-minded sibling) — adorable situations and cheeky discussion bail her away. You know it’s love once the man enables you to a menstruation mix tape — “Red Red Wine,” “I’ve Got the whole world for a String” and an also more apparent Leona Lewis hit.

Therefore the sentiment — her love of convenience, their passion for love — hasn’t grown old, through “(500) Days of Summer,” “Up in the Air” (by Reitman’s son) and “Love & Other Drugs,” although it may because of the time a film really titled “Friends with Advantages” hits theaters come early july.


GRADE: BRATING: R (for intimate content, language plus some medication material)CAST: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Greta Gerwig, Kevin Kline, Lake BellDIRECTOR: Ivan ReitmanRUNNING TIME: one hour, 36 mins

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