What happened to Natalie Portman? To me she always seemed a little stiff or cold. Her work in the Star Wars prequels had no life to it(might not have been her fault). Yet she has hit this year with a shot of life. Her performance in The Black Swan has made her a shoe in for a Academy Award and now she just lets herself go and shows us a funny side in this film. Ashton Kutcher to his credit is very charming and he does have comedic timing. His character here isn’t very layered, he plays Adam who is a super nice guy who has a nice job, his only problem is that he wants to be a writer and can’t get his foot in the door. His only real dilemma in the movie is his air head British ex-girl friend starts sleeping with his dad. Still Kutcher does what he has to and is so charming in some scenes you can’t help but like him. The real star though is Portman who amazingly lands most of the laughs in the film. Her character is an uptight, she likes to keep emotion out of her life. Her career as a doctor allows her to ignore trying to start relationships. Even her friends and room mates don’t seem that close to her. So when these two finally come together things get a little complicated.
A big surprise is that this movie is made by Ivan Reitman, yes the man who made Ghostbusters. The films vibe is interesting, Kutcher and Portman are not life long friends who decide to sleep together, instead they run into each other every decade or so and finally decide to do it. The movie is raunchy in language more than actual sex. A couple scenes of half naked Kutcher and Portman, but besides one scene the sex in the movie is more referred to more than seen. I’m sure that will disappoint some but the film is more about people getting over self inflicted walls and learning to be with people they never thought was possible.
It must seem like I loved this movie, don’t get me wrong it is charming but has loads of problems. Kutcher and Portman just work together and are both great in the rules given to them. Sure the film is also a watered down When Harry Met Sally but as for rom-coms it is one of the better one’s we’ve had in a while. Still the film has issues, mainly the supporting cast, a lot of the friend characters to the two leads have witty lines that fall flat. The movie seemed slightly influenced by movies like Funny People and Knocked Up, basically the Judd Apatow formula. That’s when you just let side characters have over the top lines for laughs while the main characters can stay basic and more real to the audience. Here it just happens way too many times where the dialogue is forced and the laughs just don’t come. Still the movie powers through all of this and stays away from predictable and the eye rolling that comes from most general rom-coms. This also confirms that Natalie Portman is a stand out actress and pretty damn funny. “You look like a pumpkin bitch!”… You’ll understand when you see it.