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Here's a rom com to get attached to; the main feature.

Byline: Damon Smith

NO STRINGS ATTACHED (15) Starring: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Jake M Johnson, Chris 'Ludacris'' Bridges, Kevin Kline. Director: Ivan Reitman. 108 mins.

Rating: ...

THAT crazy little thing called love complicates a seemingly perfect relationship based on sex in Ivan Reitman''s contemporary comedy of social mores.

As the title suggests, No Strings Attached centres on a pair of 20-something professionals who don''t have time in their busy schedules for an inconvenience such as commitment.

And so they agree to be friends with benefits, calling and texting each other for physical gratification with the understanding that they don''t have to worry about the awkwardness of post-coital conversation or sneaking out before breakfast.

As Harry and Sally discovered, when they met more than 20 years ago in Rob Reiner''s iconic romantic comedy, men and women cannot be friends without emotions getting in the way.

Thus, screenwriter Elizabeth Meriwether gradually shows her protagonists the errors of their lustful ways and sets up the possibility of a happy ever after using that age-old plot device: A family wedding.

In the wrong hands, No Strings Attached would be saccharine nonsense.

Thankfully, this film is blessed with director Ivan Reitman and well-judged performances from Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, who generate smouldering on-screen chemistry.

Adam (Ashton Kutcher), whose father Alvin (Kevin Kline) is a famous actor, works as a lowly TV producer on a show that is cynically jumping on the High School Musical bandwagon.

After disastrous previous encounters, Adam stumbles back into the life of medical student Emma (Natalie Portman), who once told him, "People aren''t meant to be together".

They agree that there would be no harm in no-strings-attached sex as and when the need arises.

Adam''s friends Eli (Jake M Johnson) and Wallace (Chris 'Ludacris'' Bridges) are envious that their buddy has found the perfect woman.

No Strings Attached is the first touchingly sweet and uproariously funny Hollywood rom-com of the year, anchored by winning performances from Kutcher and Portman, the latter hopefully heading for Oscar glory this weekend.

Their comic timing is impeccable, but, more crucially, they both allow the characters to wear their hearts on their sleeves, shedding tears as they face the possibility of losing each other forever.

Damon Smith


Friends with benefits - Ashton Kutcher as Adam, and Natalie Portman as Emma, in romantic comedy No Strings Attached
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 25, 2011
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