Trailer Hitch: ‘No Strings Attached’
Natalie Portman, likely to win a Best Actress nomination this year for "Black Swan," is planning on riding that momentum in 2011 toward her first major stabs at mainstream acceptance. She's got a plum role in Marvel's (and Kenneth Branagh's) "Thor" next summer, she'll go for stoner laughs in James Franco's and Danny McBride's "Your Highness" and, perhaps most telling, she's doing her first conventional rom-com with "No Strings Attached." Directed by Ivan Reitman, it stars Portman and Ashton Kutcher as lifelong best friends who decide to begin sleeping together; as you might guess, the arrangement comes with all kinds of wacky complications. That'll happen.
Trailer category: "Romantic" "comedy." Sex romp.
Major selling points: Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher having sex.
What successful movie are they trying to remind us of? "When Harry Met Sally." "Knocked Up."
"Hey, (s)he's in this?" Greta Gerwig. Ludacris. Mindy Kaling.
Line of dialogue that's really what the whole movie is about: "I think monogamy goes against our basic biology."
Spoilage? Mildly heavy. We don't learn much more from the trailer that we didn't already suspect: Portman and Kutcher will have their affair, then something dramatic will happen, then they'll realize they're in love after all. We guess it counts as a spoiler if the trailer confirms everything we were rather certain of already.
Enticement Percentage Increase: 39 percent. This film's script was originally called "F---buddies," and it was so well-regarded that it was No. 7 on The Black List ranking of the best unproduced scripts. Portman is going mainstream, but she's not going Katherine Heigl; she has a great eye of story and excellent taste. The trailer has some sharp lines too that imply this might be a little smarter than you'd think. We're cautiously optimistic.