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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “‘No Strings,’ no substance”

    The movie poster should have deterred me. Natalie Portman’s airbrushed legs take center bedroom, as Ashton Kutcher slouches in boxers, smiling with his pants halfway on. But don’t judge a book by its cover, right?

    Wrong. If it’s dusty, it’s old. If it’s shiny, it’s new. And if Ashton Kutcher has his chinos a quarter of the way on, you can be sure that the next 110 minutes will go like this:

    Actually, never mind.

    “”No Strings Attached”” is one of those movies that makes you sure the industry is filling in some meandering, mad lib-like template guaranteed to help write a romantic comedy in 20 minutes or less.

    There’s the sitting-on-a-picnic-table-at-summer-camp shootdown, the frat party encounter, the farmers market encounter, the drunk dial, the eventual sex and then the love: requited, unrequited, requited, un … you know.

    Of course you know how this goes — but it’s not because you’ve been there. This construction, utterly unique to romantic comedies, stands testament to the existence of this magical mad lib. So do the slimy father, the attempted threesome, the fairytale houses and Natalie Portman’s perpetually professionally-tousled hair.

    And yes, we in the theater much prefer to see the work of professional stylists than the work of the surely satin pillow on set; we will not be the last to notice that pretty hair is pretty.  

    In short, “”No Strings Attached”” hits its assumed mark. With the precision of a champion whack-a-mole player, the writers/producers/directors hit every essential rom-com nail on the head.

    But in doing so, they drive each carefully-wrought, standardized nail — fateful encounters, lust begetting romance, beautiful people in brilliantly lit apartments — further into the vanilla coffin built to bury their art form. 

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