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No Strings Attached (Blu-ray Review)

3 May, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

Street 5/10/11
Box Office $70.6 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray combo pack
Rated ‘R’ for sexual content, language and some drug material.
Stars Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Lake Bell, Greta Gerwig, Kevin Kline, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Cary Elwes, Mindy Kaling.

Open up the Blu-ray Disc of No Strings Attached and the first thing you’re greeted with is an insert for a free three-month subscription to an online dating service. At least we know who the target audience is supposed to be. Most of the viewers probably aren’t getting the same action as the characters in this film.

A comedic warning about our inability to separate emotions and sex, No Strings Attached (originally and appropriately titled F*** Buddies) accomplishes what its creators intended: Tell a love story that begins with a kiss, instead of ending with one. And it’s done in the most raunchy, foul-mouthed and sexy way possible.

Teaming up two of the more gorgeous and popular actors around today, Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman play horny young professionals who decide to use each other for sex, while constantly reminding each other that sex is all it’s ever going to be. And, of course, someone’s going to let their feelings get in the way of what should be a perfect arrangement.

Portman and Kutcher are great together, but No Strings is made especially funny by the work of the supporting cast, with Kevin Kline as the aging, neurotic, once-famous father screwing Kutcher’s character’s smoking-hot ex-girlfriend. Lake Bell, Jake M. Johnson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges are all given great lines to work with. ... And, yes, that’s Carey Elwes underneath that beard.

Among all the bonuses here, “Modern Love: The Do’s and Don’ts” is the most enjoyable, with the cast and crew speaking to the way modern “love” actually works. “Wow, it’s just sex. It’s the end of civilization as we know it,” Kline says, which sums up well the generational differences in how we view sex and the “rules” surrounding casual banging.

The “Sex Friends: Getting Together” featurette is less a making-of than a lengthy introduction to the people on and off the screen of the film, and it’s good for a few laughs, while “Inside the Sassy Halls of Secret High” shows off the in-movie High School Musical-esque production. There’s also a commentary, a handful of deleted scenes and a pair of alternate storyline scenes.

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