The leads are played by Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, and the twist here is that Portman’s Emma is the driving force behind the agreement with Kutcher’s Adam to not have a relationship . only relations. Even Adam’s friends point out to him that he is living every male’s fantasy. So does anyone think this will really work? Of course not.
First, they are both just so darn cute! And Adam is oh-so-adorable as the sly one hoping to break through and convince Emma that he is worthy of her love. All the physical stuff continues as Adam works his job on the set of a Glee knock-off, battles with his dad (Kevin Kline) who is sleeping with Adam’s ex-girlfriend (a wonderful Opehlia Lovibond), and Emma slaves away saving lives in her job as a brilliant d’s co-workers (a manic Lake Bell) has a mega crush on him, and Emma’s little sister (Olivia Thirlby) finds true love as does Emma’s friend Patrice (Greta Gerwig from Greenberg), who falls for Adam’s best friend. Wow.
On the plus side, the side stories are enough fun that the film is easily watchable despite the predictable nature of the premise. Even the Portman/Kutcher story is tolerable thanks to the gender-bending nature of their roles. I would have preferred to see the Friends with Benefits pact extended and examined (it worked in the Stieg Larsson books!). This is easily Mr. Reitman’s best comedy since 1993’s “Dave”, which also featured Kevin Kline. It’s nice to see Ms. Portman do something lightweight after her fabulous “Black Swan” performance, but I am really hoping Mr. Kutcher understands that someday he may really have to act and not just smile on cue.
Occasionally, Adam and Emma cross paths. When he discovers that an ex-girlfriend is living with his dad, he gets drunk, calls every woman in his cell phone contact list, and ends up passed out naked in her living room.
She guards her emotions, so after a quickie in the moments she has before leaving for the hospital, she asks if he wants a no-strings-attached, sex-only relationship, without romance or complications
By this time, she’s a medical resident in L.A. and he’s a gopher on a TV series, hoping to be a writer.
Wasn’t expecting much from this, even though it’s Reitman, as soon as I saw the premise, i knew it would feature.
It’s harmless enough, but straight from the beginning, you know what is going to happen. Kutcher and Portman have enough chemistry to just about pull it from mediocrity, but Reitman should have pulled his finger out and looked back at his movies that were funny.
The main reason this movie isn’t good is that their is too little chemistry between Asthon and Natalie. Physically he is too big for her. In terms of persona they are too incompatible as well. They look like they could never hook up in real life.
She has a pretty face but since her body is so small she has very little sex appeal required for a romantic lead
Trending is powerful. When an idea seemed viable, a series of films will get made, from end of the world stuff, to vampires and alien invasions, and it’s even applicable to the romantic comedy genre. I wonder who came up with the recent thought about designing a film exploring the friends with benefits concept, and here we’re faced with at least three of such films having Hollywood starlets in various stages of undress, from Love with Other Drugs, No Strings Attached milking the Valentine’s Day weekend here, and soon Friends with Benefits starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. Seems like f*ck buddies are getting mainstream acceptance with everyone jumping onto the same bandwagon in Tinseltown.