Important looking male journalists, wearing expensive looking shirts, sipped espressos outside the Savoy immediately after the press screening of ‘No Strings Attached’. One particularly pompous reviewer remarked “I think I’m going to go ahead and assume that that film is going to be named the worst film of the year”. It was at that point that I wiped the mascara tracks from my cheeks, dried my eyes and scuttled away. I am a typical chick and this film is definitely the pinnacle of “chick flick”.
Ashton Kutcher stars as the aloof yet lovable Adam, a young, infectiously happy, writer with severe father issues. One of those types. His ‘best friend’ is career-driven Emma, played by the charismatic Natalie Portman. Fitting with the recent Hollywood trend, our heroine is a commitment-phobe, too busy with her career or something to even contemplate the prospect of falling in love.
Okay, I won’t lie, I may have missed the opening section of the film. So, what I gather is; boy and girl are friends… boy and girl have sex… boy does some crazy romantic gesture… boy wants commitment… girl doesn’t… boy’s heart breaks… yada yada yada… is there someone else? Are they shiftin’? Will boy and girl EVER be together? We just don’t know, do we?
Well, actually no, we do. Yeah it’s another cheesy romantic comedy, released JUST in time for valentine’s day. It’s one of those supposed feel-good movies that the audience is meant to walk away from with a warm fuzzy feeling. What this will actually do is make every girl believe she deserves some soppy douche like Ashton Kutcher, rendering most boys inadequate. Simultaneously it will instill a feeling of false hope in the aching hearts of the world’s singletons.
It’s another one of those bullshit Hollywood yolks with its unrealistic scenarios, melodramatic dialogues and the kind of one-liners that Hallmark wish they’d thought of first. I know this. I know the important looking journalists are right but still, when Adam gives Emma those carrots, because she doesn’t like flowers, I well-up. I don’t even like carrots.
This is just the power chick-flicks have over me. Apparently, because I have female reproductive organs and high levels of oestrogen, I am predisposed to cry whenever Ashton Kutcher appears on a big screen declaring his love for his leading lady.
Parts of the film are genuinely witty, with Adams ‘period mix’ even generating several laughs from the important looking journalists. Ashton’s (yes were on first name basis – we’re in love) performance is of his usual amusing standard and, to be fair, there does seem to be a genuine chemistry between himself and Portman. Supporting actresses Greta Gerwig and Mindy Kaling provide some fantastic one liners throughout. Likewise Ludacris fulfils the role of a hilarious, albeit stereotypical, wing man.
All things considered, it’s a fun film. No doubt, it will gross millions at the box office, with audiences full of girlfriends who want to subtly mould their boyfriends into Aston Kutcher’s and hoping that by watching this he’ll pick up some romantic tips (he won’t). There’ll also be the Valentine’s day optimists, identifiable as a large group of moderately attractive female friends who will go watch it and tell each other “it will happen” and “he’s worth waiting for” (he’s not coming). Finally you’ll have the intelligent women who are beautiful and successful in equal parts, who believe they are exempt from the lustful allure of the chick-flick genre. This group will watch the film, fall in love with Ashton, say “nawww” at all appropriate moments, lap up all the cheesiness, but quickly wipe their teary eyes and scuttle away – regardless of whether they like carrots or not.