Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher release edgier “No Strings” trailer

By Sean O’Connell Though it’s only four days old, we’re going ahead and declaring 2011 “The Year of Natalie Portman.”

The actress has four films reaching theaters this year, including the anticipated stoner comedy “Your Highness” and the summer blockbuster “Thor.” Off screen, she announced that she’s engaged to be married … and expecting her first child. Oh yeah, and she’s more than likely about to nominated for an Oscar thanks to her mesmerizing performance in Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.”

Something tells me we’ll be writing a lot about Portman as the year progresses, starting today. We’re getting a good look at Portman’s next film, “No Strings Attached,” a romantic comedy co-starring Ashton Kutcher that hits theaters on Jan. 21. Initially, I feared that a sappy rom-com released right before the Academy cast its votes could hurt Portman’s chances (the way “Norbit” allegedly hurt Eddie Murphy’s Oscar prospects for “Dreamgirls”).

But a new restricted trailer over on WorstPreviews suggests something else: a bawdy, edgy comedy that shows different sides of Portman’s humor that we knew were there (thanks to films like “Garden State” and “Closer”) but often are kept in check.

The new clip, which features plenty of vulgar sex humor, also shows Ivan Reitman’s influence. Of course, the “No Strings” director helmed such comedy classics as “Ghostbusters,” “Meatballs,” “Stripes” and “Twins.” Then again, he also directed “Junior” and “Six Days, Seven Nights.”

This could be either. But the new, rowdy “No Strings” trailer at least gives me hope that this won’t be another run-of-the-mill romantic comedy that panders to date-night couples.

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