Men talk about it; women think about it. Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman are doing it.

The notion of friends with benefits is a subject well explored in conversation with friends, but would a ‘no strings attached’ relationship work?

Or would either part grow to feel more deeply about the other person eventually? This is the subject of Ivan Reitman’s latest film “No Strings Attached.”

“No Strings Attached” is a romantic comedy starring two hugely charismatic stars: Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. They play the duo in question, who try the impossible task of using each other physically without developing an emotional attachment.

When Adam (Kutcher) runs into past acquaintance Emma (Portman), their physical relationship starts to develop. But it’s not long before they learn they might want something more.

Romantic comedies are difficult to pull off, especially since the standard pit stops for rom-coms have been repeated so many times, that they seem fairly farcical at this point. The way a romantic comedy saves grace is by being very, very funny. If a romantic comedy is funny enough, then we can sort of forgive the rest of its plot faults.

“No Strings Attached” is very, very funny and therefore passes the rom-com test. With enough laughs, likeable stars and a talented director behind the camera, “No Strings Attached” is definitely above current standards for rom-com’s.

Much of the praise should go to the director Ivan Reitman and actor Natalie Portman. She gives the movie an intelligent woman with actual attachment problems, and Reitman guides the movie in the right direction most of the time.

“No Strings Attached” is a fairly straight forward romantic comedy that’s part cheesy, part risqué and part hilarious. Does it add much originality to the much-used romantic comedy template?

No, but the movie features two very likeable stars, well-placed supporting roles and is just funny enough to get away with the cheesy romantic comedy template. The result may not be groundbreaking but, it’s apparent that this movie is a crowd pleaser. 

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