In Reitman’s whimsical montages, they fornicate in hospital-supply closets, in an old BMW, standing up against walls, and, occasionally, in bed.
The affair is private and unacknowledged, though everyone from Pasadena to Santa Monica seems to know about it. I doubt whether anyone in the audience can possibly guess the answer.“No Strings Attached” is credited to the young playwright Elizabeth Meriwether, and I will hazard a thought about how the movie was composed: writing and rewriting under Reitman’s guidance over a three-year period, Meriwether gave Reitman what she thought would work to get the script accepted and the movie financed.
In this movie, the lewd remarks are delivered not with Apatovian exuberance but with the forced casualness of people trying to shock, and most of the talk falls flat.Even on the movie’s own terms, it doesn’t make sense.Kutcher’s Adam is presented as a sensitive, kind fellow—a stud with a heart of gold, and the soul of discretion.Would he want to have two louts—Chris (Ludacris) Bridges and Jake Johnson—constantly dishing in his ear?Posses of gossip-voyeurs, showing up in one comedy after another, have become a major nuisance.
In “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” the three men who advise Steve Carell—Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Romany Malco—are certainly funny, but the writer-director, Judd Apatow, had a satirical point: they are a chorus of fools, who know nothing about sex and are merely projecting their own anxieties onto their terrified friend.Adam says that he wants to write, and he finally does put together an episode of the show, but there’s nothing in Kutcher that remotely suggests a writer’s attentiveness.The oddity of the Kutcher-Portman coupling may be the reason that Ivan Reitman, the director, made the movie. His hair hanging low over his forehead, Kutcher, seen in closeup in “No Strings Attached,” resembles a pensive mushroom.He seems puzzled a lot of the time, a little slow, though slyly amused around women.All in all, he’s rather likable, but he’s not an actor.