Dave's Rating:


No Strings Attached: The Worsening

Who's In It: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins, Jenna Elfman, Bryan Greenberg, Andy Samberg, Emma Stone, Rashida Jones, Jason Segel, Shaun White

The Basics: He's new in town. She's the headhunter who just got him a fancy job at GQ. Neither wants a relationship. So they have a lot of PG-13 sex and R-rated sex-talk, grow closer, engage in brief dalliances with other people and then embark on a Journey of Heartfelt Feeling. It's a new Journey of Heartfelt Feeling for them, but you've seen it a million times already. During this New Journey of Heartfelt Feeling for Them but Not You, they ditch the comedy, introduce some secondary character Alzheimer's disease, engage in misunderstandings and hurtful words accompanied by tender strum-strum-strum music and then... well, you know what happens after the "then."

What's The Deal: A few months ago when this same movie starred Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, they were at least considerate enough to toss a bunch of funny supporting characters into the mix to keep the laughs coming even as the leads took the obligatory--but never necessary--left turn into their own Journey of Heartfelt Feeling. Worse, this one starts out promising, delivering a lot of fast-paced banter and a tough-guy Mila Kunis whose personal sex-talisman is a poster of the classic comedy It Happened One Night over her bed. But as that banter slows to a crawl and weepy eyes take over, you realize you'd be better off just watching that old movie instead.

Someone Owes Katherine Heigl An Apology: Not me, of course, because her recent romantic comedies are almost always garbage. But the makers and marketers of this film bash her movies in a line of dialogue that, in turn, wound up all over the trailer. Then the characters spend more screen time mocking other romantic comedies (notably a dumb fake one within the movie starring Rashida Jones and Jason Segel). If you saw the trailer and cheered that line, then the joke's on you. The promise of a fresh, realistic take on relationships nosedives into the same shallow end of the stale, stagnant impulse pool where they factory farm every other contemporary rom-com.

What's Good About It: A few minor roles, like Woody Harrelson as a gay, alpha-male sports writer who gets in a lot of Timberlake taunting, Patricia Clarkson as Kunis's free-spirited mother, Shaun White playing a foul-mouthed, evil version of himself and a mildly funny jab at Scientology that must have been added to the script without co-star Jenna Elfman's knowledge.

One Full Star Of This Review Is Thanks To The Inclusion Of: Kris Kross's "Jump."


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