Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review: No Strings Attached


God, now that I've seen the movie, this trailer really sucks. In January, I was intrigued by an interview with the producer that said this was a feminist movie... obviously this interests me, but it's a mainstream film so I had my doubts. So the movie came out, but most of my friends and I waited until it came to our University theater so we could see it cheapsies.

I enjoyed it. I mean, I really did enjoy it. I have a problem though, that when I watch movies/TV, I either sit and dissect the gender relations and implications and turn into this hugely annoying gender-theory monster who cannot completely enjoy something, or I turn my brain off and just go with it. I sort of turned my brain off for No Strings Attached. I don't think it shouldn't heralded as a feminist movie, but it's certainly more engaging that most rom-coms and chick flicks. I mean, You Again had a cast of A-list, awesome women, but it pretty much sucked ass. It was really terrible. There's something in me that wants to enjoy chick flicks, and sometimes I do. There are strains of faux-feminism in movies like Legally Blonde that I love. But I acknowledge that these kinds of movies are imperfect and just accept them for what they are. And despite my my usual stoicity, sometimes I really like watching some cheesy-ass feminist-ish rom-com.

I thought No Strings Attached was really funny. The trailers they put out did not do it justice and really only made me want to see it less. But I was highly amused. It's not really anything new though. I mean... the whole movie is based on this question: Can men and women have sex with each other just as friends? Which they answer with an emphatic NO! And I think Roger Ebert really had it right when he said:
This is a strange film. Its premise is so much more transgressive than its execution. It's as if the 1970s never happened, let alone subsequent decades. Emma and Adam aren't modern characters. They're sitcom characters allowed to go all the way like grown-ups.
So... I mean, that's very true. He didn't really like it, I still enjoyed it though and I would definitely consider getting it on DVD because I'm not a person to watch The Notebook when I'm bored (I've never actually seen The Notebook). And I think Natalie Portman's character is a lot more interesting than most rom-com heroines, and her friends (played by Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, and I cannot for the life of me find the actor's name who played their gay roommate but him too) were really funny and honestly I would have liked to see more of them (especially Mindy Kaling, I love her) and less of Ashton Kutcher being moony, but he was actually fine in this. He wasn't a super interesting character, but I don't usually like him in anything so I was surprised that I actually thought he was cute in this. (Loved his best friend though, he was really funny and cute.) There's a scene where he has a semi-confrontation with Emma's asshole doctor friend who obviously wants to put da moves on her and the doctor dude is like so obviously The Patriarchy... which I was giggling to myself about... like, did the director call this a feminist film because Adam like respects women? OKAY. Cool, he's not a d-bag, awesome. Give him a medal!

I mean... overall I thought it was cute and cheesy and I had a great time watching, there was a lot of squealing and stuff coming from most of my friends (my friend Beth was the dissenting voice in our crowd--she was not impressed), so I'd see it again. Adam and Emma were much more equals, but their relationship wasn't really that different from anything else being put out by Hollywood.

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