hopscotchee: ashton kutcher score: 27.5 rating: R time: 108 minutes
jesus mother loving christ, goddess britney, and ghad chad - all the higher powers - what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks was this movie. truly, we might have lost our brain cells, if not our pride during these painful 108 minutes. here at twinsAF we stand by the idea that all movies have a chance to surprise you and that no movie should be judged based on rotten tomatoes. so, for example, when we told our mom that we were going to watch the 2011 film, no strings attached and she said that the movie got panned, we thought, "we'll see about that 🤨". unfortunately for our positivity, no strings attached taught us that there are always exceptions. our optimism went down a little, our film-souls were wounded, and we hit a new low. there is no doubt that we'll rebound from this kick in the crotch, but we advise you: stay far, far, FAR away from no strings attached. whatever you do, don't find yourself stooping so low as to even consider this movie for viewing enjoyment. and, finally, for the sake of your equilibrium, never ever let yourself watch no strings attached!! thank us and run!!
this is a cautionary tale. and to start we need to mourn the towelette scraps that was the basic-ass plot. starting off by abruptly switching from 15 years prior to 5 years ago to 1 year before, within the first 12 minutes of the movie the viewer can't even encapsulate anything to form a general direction of our main characters, setting, or situation!! we watch them run into one another every five years, but we are lacking any substantial background information around emma (natalie portman's character) and adam (ashton kutcher's character). so they met at camp. what of it?? that is a place. a place they were both at 15 years ago, but what's the connection?? you could pass someone at target on a monday two years ago, but unless we know more to the encounter, we have nothing to go off of. in other words, we don't know why adam and emma were even sitting on the bench/log/thingy at the beginning in the first place. what brought them there?? what drove them to meet?? one could *try* an argue the idea that we are supposed to be clueless at the beginning of the film to be intrigued, but, even passed our 12 minutes, the story continues to struggle to provide any backstory to our characters that give them any sense of personality. ashton just seemed to be ashton and the only thing that made us know that natalie was the same girl from the beginning was the fact that her mannerisms were similar. so, yay!! one decent upside. natalie's acting. but even that was overshadowed by the stupid dialogue.
you can really tell when something is bad that we have to break up one category into two paragraphs. above was just the story setup, now we have to discuss the basketcase that was the script's filling. UUUGGGGHH was it a headache!! from lines like (spoiler) "eat kitty" to "where are you?? / check your panties" to "because you're women, and i think that's a beautiful thing" to "you should know, if you come any closer, i'm not letting you go" to how they describe their situation as "[using] each other for sex at all hours of the day and night. nothing else" - which was later simplified to just "sex friends", because the film is basically a rip off of ashton's wife's movie friends with benefits, and, if they say that, it might make that fact a little too obvious. so, yeah, "sex friends". not to mention how these offenses were then doubled with its visual pairing, showing us things we never, EVER wanted to see in the first place. in this depressing case, it included adam's 'dancing' at the frat party. like whatever he was doing with his elbow was not worth the film. another culprit was ANY of the naked ashton scenes, but specifically the one where he puts his bare bum on emma's mattress. just to clarify for anyone who doesn't know. you can't throw a mattress in the wash. it doesn't work like that. and to make this scene worse, we have to only stay on a close up during emma and adam's 45 seconds. their faces - nope !! it's just bad, y'all. very bad.
finally, to conclude this review with yet another one of the film's awful aspects, we get to pin the makeup and costume department to the floor. and not in a kinky no strings attached way. overall the jobs done here were so mediocre we were puzzled at first if they were trying to make the characters look like they didn't care or if that was a poor choice on their part. most of the costuming was basic, early aughts attire, which we appreciated for the casualty of it, but this casualty later became an injury in the movie. adam's looks felt very slum-y and lackluster and emma's fits were just a mix of rudimentary doctor clothes and lilac low cuts. on the surface, these outfits didn't seem out of place, but, going back to our original issue in the second paragraph, the basic-ness of the costuming left this element of characterization out of the picture. in the same fashion (no pun intended), their clothes didn't add to the character. the same way you can see harry potter and note that his baggy flannels compute to him only receiving dudley's hand-me-downs as clothes, the costuming here computed to nothing. lastly, makeup is thrown into this paragraph for the palm-smack that was natalie portman's made up face when her character added that she's supposed to wear makeup on a date. like, bruv, you are now!! literally makes no sense ever why this film had to suck so much?!
hopefully for you you can listen to leona lewis' "bleeding love" in peace after this. hopefully you haven't watched no strings attached and can go about peacefully without any of the film's scenes evily popping into your head. if there is one last thing we have to say, it would be to remind everyone that having high standards is not crazy. if there was anything we actually learned while watching no strings attached it was that you would never be in these stupid situations if you had self respect and high standards. so please. have high standards - or just standards really.
-- thanks, ashton xo