No Strings Attached



21 January 2011| No Comments on No Strings Attached     by Sean Chavel


Dopey and unreal, and worse, not hot at all. No Strings Attached features Ashton Kutcher as an oversensitive douchebag and Natalie Portman as not a flesh-and-bone real character but as a caricature. The first half, every end of a scene features an anatomical sex punchline (“Can I finger you?” or “I can’t focus on my porn with all this real sex going on around me,” or “You know what the best part is about my gay dads? They’re never going to eat out my ex-girlfriends.”) The second half, just dopey, is mostly made up of doubts about whether to text or call. The movie does nothing to stimulate or emulate real sex and the bedroom talk – how mature (!) – it is just so middling and artificial. For two hours, I almost didn’t care whether or not I would ever have sex again because “NSA” was such a turn-off.

“No Strings Attached” is for average American audiences who don’t care if they’re watching a movie portraying below average sex, sensuality, foreplay, seductive words. I sat there, not into sex for the moment, glad that I am not average. Last year I saw a German film, a Dutch film, a French film, a George Clooney film, a Ben Affleck film and an Adrien Brody film with sex scenes that stirred my senses (When you are big famous actor I guess you get “Whoa” scenes with lots of rising starlets). The actresses in those are unknowns so I would have to go out of my way to mention them. Although I’ll never forget their curves.

I attest at this point I would love to have a NSA thing going on with Natalie Portman, but not the Portman on-screen who behaves in such wallowing low self-esteem (in “Black Swan” she played low-esteem, but had effervescent passion for ballet). Her character is an annoying commitment-phobe who is afraid of getting close and all that flak. She hates snuggling in an “intimate” way. Just wants the f***buddies situation, that’s her character in a nutshell. Oh, and I guess she’s okay with 45-seconds of light, un-rhythmic banging from Ashton.

I’m going to be honest about Ashton Kutcher. I don’t think I am ever going to like one of his movies, no matter what he does. I almost always bring an open mind to the movies. But he plays these dumb guys that is like a clumsy kid and has no vocabulary skills. What I do know about my experience with his movies is that I think I prefer his dumb ones that are aiming for dumb rather than his dumb ones that think they’re smart. Furthermore, I wish I could take a poll with every girl in America and any girl who checkmarks “Ashton Kutcher” is hot can then steer me to try and go after every other girl in America not into him or his type.

I quoted some of the self-conscious raunchy dialogue. I could have quoted dozens more. What I do know is that dialogue from such porno monuments like “Debbie Does Dallas,” “The Opening of Misty Beethoven” and “The Story of O” from the 1970’s feature more sophisticated dialogue, and in their randy surreal way, was more real. Really, I’m a critic who has seen films from all eras and all counter-cultures. I’m not just saying that comparison to get a rise out of you and to sound snide. Really, “No Strings Attached” is so below the bar. It sucks, really.

Ashton Kutcher fans don’t read movie reviews so I’m not worried of making an offense. I feel obligated to mention that Kevin Kline is in this too. This is disheartening because he’s been in so many great movies but these days he seems to only play creepy and slimy old guys.

110 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “The Opening of Misty Beethoven” (1976); “When Harry Met Sally” (1989); “The Wedding Singer” (1998); “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” (2008).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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