As the Mister and I were driving home yesterday from the almost two-hour snorefest known as “No Strings Attached” (three Timex checks), we pondered one question: Whatever happened to great romantic comedies?
We’ve now seen two dud supposed rom-coms back to back (“No Strings” and “The Dilemma”). So what’s wrong with Hollywood writers that they can’t script a more-believable story that makes us laugh and feel a connection with the characters? Do they really believe that all of us smoke dope and casually drop f-bombs when we’re lunching with our buds?
I realize that the Mister and I are ancient by Hollywood standards, but even an oldie like Kevin Kline (age 63), who played the father of Ashton Kutcher’s character, was a pot-smoking, foul-mouthed guy. Where’s the likability factor?
Heck, where’s the character development? Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Kutcher) first endure an awkward meeting as teens at summer camp and then reconnect years later at a frat party. Finally they’re both working in Los Angeles, she as a medical resident, he as a production assistant on a TV show. They hook up, and Emma says she wants to only have a sexual relationship with Adam. Friends with benefits, as it were.
The problem? The movie never establishes that these two are friends at all. This is no wonderful “When Harry Met Sally” effort. The “No Strings Attached” website claims that Emma and Adam are lifelong pals; if that’s true, you’d never know it from the movie. So it’s hard to root for them to succeed on an emotional level when you don’t really care because you feel no connection to these two.
“No Strings Attached” is a rental. But it is rated R , so make sure the young teens aren’t in the vicinity of your TV while you’re watching.
Sidebar: My favorite romantic comedies? “A Fish Called Wanda” (the first movie the Mister and I saw together), “Pretty Woman,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “As Good As It Gets,” “Juno,” “Ghost Town,” “Groundhog Day,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Parenthood,” and “Easy A” are ones that quickly come to mind. “No Strings Attached?” Nope!