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Ashton Kutcher on casual sex, Natalie Portman for “No Strings Attached”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Can lifelong friends engage in a purely physical relationship without allowing emotions to gum up the works?

To reveal the answer would be to spoil the plot of Ivan Reitman’s latest comedy “No Strings Attached,” which stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as attractive friends who share a mutual attraction but want only sex – and not love – out of their relationship.

The calling card of “No Strings” is its cavalier attitude toward casual sex, and how members of the opposite sex have precious few boundaries talking about or engaging in the practice of making love. This isn’t “The Philadelphia Story,” where subtle references to sex were lightly bandied about by the likes of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Instead, screenwriter Elizabeth Meriweather talks frankly about physicality in the 21st century. But that doesn’t necessarily mean chivalry is dead.

“I think holding the door for the girl that you are having casual sex with is very romantic,” Kutcher told me during a recent one-on-one interview we had in Los Angeles.

“My youngest daughter just went on a date with a kid,” Kutcher continued. “I made him come in. He said hello. He walked her to the door at the end of the night and did all the right things. So that gives me hope.

“I think this movie does point out, though, that we have to stop acting like casual sex isn’t happening, and start to be realistic about what a modern courting relationship is like,” Kutcher went on to say.

Not only is Meriweather’s script realistic, it’s instantly quotable.

“I think my favorite line has to be the one where I say to Natalie that she looks like a female Rick Moranis,” Kutcher said with a laugh. “There was another one that was something to the effect of, ‘You’re so short, when people see me standing next to you, they think you are my child.’ But I don’t think that it made it in. There was also this whole riff about having sex with Shelly Long. But again, I think that all got left out.”

To see what made it in to the final cut, check out Reitman’s “No Strings Attached,” which opens in theaters on Friday, Jan. 21, and check back on the site during the week for continued coverage of the film.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • January 19, 2011 | Permalink |

    Saw a screener for this yesterday. It is hilarious! The audience was cracking up the whole movie! Portman is funny as hell! THIS IS NO FLOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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