Box art for No Strings Attached

No Strings Attached

comedy, romance


Academy Award Winner Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Ashton Kutcher (What Happens in Vegas...) star in the hilarious hit comedy that takes a modern look at what happens when friends-in-need do the deed.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    49%
  • Audience Score
    52%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Consumerism
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
4 out of 5
Violence
1 out of 5

Sexy romcom is cliched but surprisingly sweet.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this R-rated Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman romantic comedy is decidedly adult fare. It's a frank exploration of a modern-day relationship that's founded on a largely sexual basis, so you can expect plenty of unfiltered talk about sex, as well as characters shown in various states of undress and in compromising positions. There's also frequent swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), social drinking, and references to drugs. Despite the mature content (and plenty of romcom cliches), the movie is surprisingly sweet and does address questions about commitment.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the idea of a "friends with benefits" relationship. What messages does that kind of arrangement convey about love and commitment? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values when it comes to dating and relationships.
  • What's the appeal of romantic comedies? Although they tend to follow the same predictable formula, they remain popular. Why do you think that is?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The charismatic leads keep this watchable, but it's a waste of their talents.

- Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Friday, January 28, 2011

Rotten: Sadly, an obsession with raunchy one-liners trips everything up, turning a clever conceit into something closer to a sleazy, cheesy affair.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fresh: What elevates No Strings Attached above the average (usually awful) romantic comedy is a decent script, the sure hand of veteran director Ivan Reitman and the likeable performances of stars Portman and Kutcher.

- Bruce Demara, Toronto Star, Thursday, January 20, 2011

Audience Reviews

2 stars

This plot has been around before - can a couple have regular sex without falling in love? At least in the movies, it is not possible. At least the rest of the plot around that basic plot was interesting.

- Redlats, Thursday, October 24, 2013

3 stars

"It reminded me of my senior prom. I got a handjob on the dance floor to "Who Let the Dogs Out?" " Natalie Portman comes out of award season on the top with her Best Actress awards for her performance in "Black Swan" including the Golden Globe and Oscar in the near future, probably. For her first film in the new year, she takes on the romantic-comedy genre for the first time since her performance in the 2004 film "Garden State". Her co-star Ashton Kutcher, however, is no stranger when it comes to the romantic-comedy genre with his last few films being in that area ("What Happens in Vegas", "Valentine's Day", "Killers"). These two together, they create a very awkward, but realistic chemistry with their character's Adam and Emma. Their relationship begins when the two meet as teenagers sexually frustrated at a summer camp and from there we seem them as strange acquaintances right through the early years of their adulthood until they are both thrown into each other's lives for the final time. Emma, is a successful doctor, isn't looking for a relationship. She works eighty hours a week and doesn't want a relationship. Adam is an aspiring writer looking for his break working on the set of a high-school series, which is very similar to "Glee". The two decide to have a relationship with no commitment, just sex. But, how long will it take before a knot comes into their strings? One highlight of the film is how accurate and realistic the interactions between Adam and Emma are when they're together. The two, acting weird around each other, is exactly what you do when your in a relationship. Your yourself. A lot of romantic-comedies nowadays seem to forget what makes the movie good, not the story, but the chemistry between the characters. "No Strings Attached" hits that spot-on. The casting of Portman and Kutcher is the golden choice, as well, because I haven't witness such on-screen chemistry in a romantic-comedy since Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in "(500) Days of Summer". Portman's performance as Emma is great. Could you expect nothing less from her? Ashton Kutcher, on the other hand, actually does a good job here. I remember years ago when he used to host "Punk'd" and he was such a bad actor. He was okay on "That 70's Show", but his movies were horrible. His past few movies have been major improvement in his career, but "No Strings Attached" definitely tied the knot on that statement. He isn't playing himself here, he's playing Adam. A character. Adam is pretty likeable, he wants to be a writer, and that being my true dream as well, I liked his character all the more. The film doesn't just grasp onto the character's lives in the present, we get back-stories and enough information to really feel a connection with them. The supporting stars here do just as good a job as the main stars. The most notable character here is Adam's father Alvin, who is dating Adam's ex-girlfriend, and is also quite the daredevil when it comes to trying new things. Kline, a strange choice, is pretty funny here with the outrageous character he has. With this film, we also get Mindy Kaling (The Office), Ludacris, Cary Elwes ( who seemed like a 'see if you can point out' cameo), Greta Gerwig, and Lake Bell. All the characters here, wheatear they were Adam's friends or Emma's, all have chemistry with one another no matter what scene. Director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, My Super Ex-Girlfriend) is known for outrageous works with comedy and there is no difference here. "No Strings Attached" is as R-rated as they come and Ivan Reitman, directed a pretty heavy script, does a fine job giving the film a very light touch. There is one shot in particular from the film that I really liked and that was a night-time sky-shot of the city lights all turning on and off. It was quick, but it was a great shot, I think. But, of course, he does a great job with the rest of the film as well. I look forward to see what he does with "Ghostbusters 3". Elizabeth Meriwether, the writer behind the movie, creates a very raunchy, but also touching, story between two very real characters. She does a great job creating all of the different characters in Adam and Emma's lives as well as writing the two of them, as well. The story itself isn't too original, in fact, the film is very similar to last year's "Love and Other Drugs". The only difference is that "Love and Other Drugs" grasps more on drama that it does comedy while "No Strings Attached" does the complete opposite. The film also has the perfect length. The movie has enough gags and creative moments that the film never seems to drag on. I liked her idea that Adam worked on a TV show set. It made his character's life seem more interesting. As well as Emma being a doctor. The script does a fine job not only focusing on the sex-story but of the lives of the characters as well while everything is going on. As for the script, I thought it was great. Overall, "No Strings Attached" is one of the better romantic-comedies from the past couple of years. The two main stars have excellent on-screen chemistry, the best I've seen since "(500) Days of Summer" and they're performances are on top. The film may not grasp onto something completely original, but, its done much better than similar films to its kind. This is "American Pie" for adults, I say see it.

- Screeny, Friday, August 5, 2011

3 stars

Good rom com about friends with benefits. The chemistry between them is good. Emma who is hung up about love and emotional attachment wants sex without strings. Adam came out of a bad breakup and finds out his dad has hooked up with his ex.

- thmtsang, Sunday, August 21, 2011