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Picks and Pans Main: Movies

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No Strings Attached

Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline | R |


To think I almost felt bad for Portman. Just as Oscar buzz peaks for her role in Black Swan, here comes what looks like a miserably dinky rom-com, debuting (tellingly) in the cinematic wasteland that is January. Well, that’ll learn me, because Strings is sexy, witty and smarter than it looks. Portman is stunning as Emma, a quirky doctor whose proposal-to be sexually but not romantically involved-beguiles aspiring writer Adam (Kutcher, oozing charm). “Don’t list me as your emergency contact,” she tells him. “I won’t come.” Savvy viewer, you know how that plot cliche will turn out. Strings isn’t perfect, but the chemistry is terrific, the soundtrack rocks, and the funny friends (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Mindy Kaling) truly are funny. Sometimes that’s all you need.