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Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Movies Release Roundup 1 April 2011

Here's a strange one: I've actually written long-form reviews of all the films being released this week, save for one. I had thought of giving it a proper review as well but, frankly, since this one film is No Strings Attached there's not a whole lot to say. 

Natalie Portman, fresh off of wowing audiences with Black Swan, does her best with what is ultimately a fairly lame script. Fair enough, I say. After all, after such a demanding performance in Black Swan, one can hardly blame her for slumming it a bit in a presumably high-paying rom-com.

Looking at it from another angle, though, this is something of a step up for Ashton Kutcher. Considering that the romantic comedies he's made in recent years include seriously horrible nonsense like Valentine's Day or, worse, What Happens in Vegas, No Strings Attached suddenly looks like a masterpiece. Sadly for him though, while he is perfectly likeable in this role he is acted off the screen by Portman and a very good supporting cast that includes Kevin Cline, Cary Elwes, Lake Bell, The Office's Mindy Kaling and (once again, after being the only saving grace in the otherwise unbearable Greenberg, being in a film that is far less impressive than she obviously is) Greta Gerwig.

The very solid cast is actually the only really noteworthy thing about No Strings Attached. It's a film about two attractive people starting a "friends with benefits" relationship and if you can't guess how the rest of the film will unfold after the first 5 minutes, you've clearly never seen a romantic comedy before. Or that episode of Scrubs - to name just one sitcom where this plotline has reared its head - that did this already in 21 minutes and with much more laughs.

Ivan Reitman is a veteran comedy director but nothing about No Strings Attached comes close to stuff like Ghostbusters, Stripes or, hell, even those Ahnuld Schwarzenegger comedies he did in the 90s.    

And is it just me or is Mila Kunis, Portman's co-star in Black Swan, about to do a film with the exact same plot as No Strings Attached? Weird.

(5/10) at best.

Best film of the week: Hop. Sorry Dr Kermode, you may be my favourite film critic but you are so so wrong about this bonkers family comedy.

Worst film of the week: No Strings Attached. "Kind of OK" just isn't good enough.

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