Here's a redband (read: swears!) trailer for No Strings Attached, the fuckbuddies "romantic" comedy starring actress-of-the-moment Natalie Portman and actor-of-the-never Ashton Kutcher. And it looks terrible.
I mean really, truly tremendously terrible, like one of those sex comedies that thinks all it needs to do to get a laugh is throw the word "fuck" around like confetti and watch the box office dollars roll in. The script was written by Elizabeth Meriwether, the celebrated playwright turned screenwriter whose hip-gurl good looks and button-pushing language have made her a New York Times profile favorite, on her own and as part of "The Fempire" with Diablo Cody and the genius behind What Happens in Vegas. (Another Kutcher gem!) I'm not advocating that Meriwether or director Ivan Reitman (is that what lured Portman in?) be buttoned-up or modest about sex or anything else, but an uncomfortable-looking Mindy Kaling yelling "We're sluts!!" to Portman in the hallway of the hospital where they work as doctors, or asking Portman to put on a pair of 3D glasses, stare at Kutcher's penis, and say "It's like it's coming right at me" is just cheap and embarrassing.
Characters needn't be boorish fuck-monsters in order to be funny, believable, and yes, slightly shocking sexual beings — just look at the frank but mostly relatable sexuality of a romantic comedy like Going the Distance, it was real and funny and startling, but never felt synthetic the way every single gag in this trailer feels. I'm just so bored and turned-off by these mortifying sex comedies that have been rolling out of late. Just the thought of Katherine Heigl self-immolating in that remote-controlled vibrator scene in
The Ugly Truth makes me dizzy with despair.
And before you say it, yes obviously I know I haven't seen this movie yet and it could prove surprisingly likable. I hope it does! I like Natalie Portman and want young playwrights to find success so they can continue to write more plays. But lord above does this two and a half minutes of bullshit look unappealing. Who do they think likes this sort of thing?