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Friday, September 29, 2023

Life + Arts

‘No Strings Attached’ grabs No. 1 spot in weekend box office

Ashton Kutcher plays Adam and Natalie Portman plays Emma in the raunchy “No Strings Attached.” | Photo courtesty of Paramount Studios

No Strings Attached” starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman opened this weekend and topped the box office, making about $20.3 million, according to studio estimates. It is a raunchy comedy disguised as a romantic comedy.

When sitting down to watch it for the first time, I expected just another generic romantic movie experience. It could even be something some folks would consider a chick flick. Instead, I got enough dirty jokes and foul language to make me giggle throughout the entire movie.

It’s fun to watch pretty people spouting locker room humor.

Before seeing the movie, I jumped to some false conclusions. The first stemmed from the movie’s title and it made me think that this would be disappointing.

If you’ve ever noticed, most romantic movies have titles that are derived from the main conflict that’s going on.

For example, you have a girl who is writing a story about how to get dumped in 10 days and you get “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” In “Knocked Up,” the girl gets pregnant, and in “Win a Date with Todd Hamilton” — well, you see what I mean. The same can be said with pretty much every formulaic comedy out there.

Also upping the potential disaster factor were the stars of the film, Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Now, Portman is up for an Oscar. She’s the talk of Hollywood and the movie media these days with her performance in “Black Swan.” And we all know that people nominated for the Academy Award are usually pretty good actors.

But sometimes we forget that they have been in some terrible movies. For Portman, the albatross that she will carry will be the “Star Wars” prequels, and for Kutcher — well, he’ll have to overcome just about everything he’s done, with the exception of “The Butterfly Effect.”

Now this is what I thought going into the movie, and maybe it was because of this that I ended up really enjoying it. Then again, there is just something to be said about low expectations. Regardless, it was a real surprise to find myself laughing within the first minutes of the movie and enjoying pretty much the entire experience.

There is this escalation in jokes that carries throughout the whole flick, making for not a single dull moment in the 90 or so minutes.

Of course, most of these pranks, word humor and nuances are obscene in their very nature. That is something that should be taken into account when you choose to see the movie — be prepared for some pretty fun trash talking and a lot of sex scenes.

Taking a date to this movie would be a good idea — unless of course, that date finds the idea of sexually based jokes to be appalling. Then you are going to be in for a rough night.

This is a comedy for adults in their twenties. It moves from risqué to raunchy and back again. A variety of scenes will make you laugh, from fake tans to a menstruation mix tape.

So some folks may find themselves squirming in their seats, even though you’ll be laughing while you’re squirming.

The best way to make sure that you’ll enjoy the movie is to go with someone that can appreciate a dirty joke or two. It would just make it easier to watch when you’re not worrying about how the other person you are with might react to something that just went on in the movie.

You might also want to pick someone who knows who Lil Wayne is. It is harder than you think to explain who he is to those who have no idea what purple drank is.

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