By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com November 5, 2010 at 1:19AM
Ever since we read Liz Meriwether's Black Listed script (originally titled "Fuckbuddies") for the Ivan Reitman-helmed romantic-comedy "No Strings Attached," we've been cautiously looking forward to the film. Sure, Reitman raised some eyebrows, having not made a film even vaguely worth a damn since "Dave," and we weren't exactly over-enamored by the casting of Ashton Kutcher, but the rest of the cast, toplined by Natalie Portman, were promising, and, more importantly, Meriwether's script was genuinely funny, with a distinctive voice (although it should be said, it has a love-it-or-hate-it reputation around town) -- so much so, we named her as one of our five screenwriters on the rise.
Yesterday saw the first image from the film released, and hot on its heels, Moviefone premiered a trailer. And, on the plus-side, having debuted alongside the wretched-looking "Hall Pass" and "Just Go With It," Reitman's film looks like "Bringing Up Baby" in comparison. But we're still a little worried -- the film looks awfully generic. It seems likable enough, for sure -- even Kutcher seems to be bearable, if a little bland -- but no more so than, say "Going the Distance," and we were hoping for something a little more distinct.
There's still a glimpse of the promising supporting cast, including Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, Ludacris, and, in particular Jake Johnson (another of our On The Rise picks), who looks to be in scene-stealing form. But the likes of Olivia Thirlby and Kevin Kline are sidelined, and the whole thing seems to be watered down from what we read.
It's worth bearing in mind that the script was very R-rated, so many of the best bits wouldn't have been able to be included, and the trailer is designed to appeal to the masses anyway. But it's still a disappointing, mediocre clip (not helped by the "Grey's Anatomy"-style music choices) and somewhat backs up our fears that 70-year-old studio veteran Reitman wasn't necessarily the best pick for a twentysomething relationship movie.
We'll find out either way on January 21st next year. You can check the trailer out below, or go over to Moviefone to see it in HD.