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Watch: First Trailer For Natalie Portman & Ashton Kutcher Rom-Com 'No Strings Attached'

by Oliver Lyttelton
November 5, 2010 1:19 AM
6 Comments
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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.

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6 Comments

  • Barbara W | November 6, 2010 9:04 AMReply

    I love this and plan to see it...I'm delighted to see Ms Portman doing a romantic comedy I saw "Black Swan" and that is intense ...This is a very healthy move on her part.

    Looks like they are having fun. I like Mila also but Timberlake lost me when he started to sing totally taking me out of the movie...They need to fix that and fast.

    The two movies are not in competition as one is a January release and the other July.

  • LA2000 | November 6, 2010 1:02 AMReply

    This looks terrible but that shouldn't come as any great surprise. Ivan Reitman has never had the capacity to direct a movie that involves humans behaving like actual humans that we know in real life. He used his considerable brand capital to try his hand at a "people" picture immediately after "Ghostbusters." "Legal Eagles." It was terrible. 25 years later, he clearly hasn't improved.

    And when is someone going to say it: Ashton Kutcher is the male Jennifer Aniston. Studios are going to keep shoving him down our throats in an effort to force us to like him. He is never going to be a significant box office asset any more than a 40 year old Aniston is going to suddenly (and finaaaaaaalllly) transform into the "new" Julia Roberts. That boat has sailed for both of them. We've seen their one note schtick and we are yawning.

  • Kathleen Walsh | November 5, 2010 10:01 AMReply

    I give the edge to Mila and JT in "Friends with Bennies" based on this round of trailers. I don't buy Portman in this part.

  • paul | November 5, 2010 8:35 AMReply

    The problem with making comments about movies that are yet to be released, is that comments are made mostly blind and uninformed; so you'll have to forgive me. Maybe Ms. Portman wanted to make a movie that wasn't something she had to dig so deep within herself to accomplish, as she did with, Swan. Maybe she did it for herself and for the movie going public. I think it shows some savviness on her part and it looks like she's enjoying herself, to boot. Kutcher keeps moving forward with his career, much to everyone's surprise. I think they make an appealing young couple on screen, with some real chemistry as well and I'll bet, there's an older woman, just off camera, watching like a hawk. And with a beautiful young woman like Portman; as well she should, as well she should.

  • jennykay | November 5, 2010 2:35 AMReply

    i read this script last year and found the female lead to be an insufferable idiot. i really hope that they spruced up her character about 250% for the film because they clearly killed any chance of me liking the male lead by cast a black hole of talent in that role.

  • nadioz | November 5, 2010 1:25 AMReply

    that looks pretty lame.

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