Who's In It: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Cary Elwes, Greta Gerwig, Lake Bell, Ludacris, Mindy Kaling
The Basics: He would like to be her boyfriend. She, however, would like him to just come over, get the job done and leave so she can get on with her 36-hours-a-day medical school residency. In spite of his selfish crush, he agrees to this and they embark on the kind of casual physical relationship that can often take place when two people don't already have some sort of religious personal code precluding it. Weird stuff happens, of course, mostly because the script (and Ivan Reitman's grandpa-like direction) decided that these two invented the very concept of NSA nudity and are pioneering the rules of such an arrangement in the most monogamous way you've ever seen.
What's The Deal: Unless you're seven years old, you're aware that a movie like this involves zero surprises. They hook up, they complicate the situation, they split apart, they pine for one another, they kiss at the end because of love-love-love-and-more-love-plus-a-Colbie-Caillat-song-about-love. Maybe it's not Colbie Caillat, though. Maybe it was someone else. I didn't stay through the music credits. Anyway, what keeps you hanging on till the inevitable rom part of the rom-com is the hope of com. Happily, the casting people decided to populate the film with a lead couple who have chemistry and then surrounded them with young, energetic supporting actors. And the otherwise old-fashioned story is peppered with just enough funny (and fairly raunchy) stuff to keep you laughing and forgetting that you already know what's coming next every second of the way.
Winners and Losers: Portman is really capable of comedy and pulls Kutcher along when he needs it. Ludacris gets the funniest line in the movie that I can't really repeat here, and Mindy Kaling is clearly ad-libbing all her best stuff. Kevin Kline doesn't have enough to do as Kutcher's TV star dad, but at least he gets more screen time than Cary Elwes, who was seemingly hired to drift in and out of scenes saying nothing, like the ghost of someone who was supposed to have a bigger role.
Worst Anti-Comedy Crimes: The way it has no choice but to grind to a crawl in the last act so they can rue the day they treated sex as though it were just another bodily function like sneezing or peeing while they mope around for each other. Worse, the brief dialogue detours into psychological explanation for it all are just a way to lie to the audience about why people in real life might decide to be less rigidly conservative about sex. Annoying.
Films That Are Still Funnier and Dirtier Than This One, Including One That Involves Natalie Portman Being Funny and Dirty: The not-widely-looked-at Going The Distance (not one female actor says "penis" quite like Drew Barrymore), most Judd Apatow and Kevin Smith projects, and Closer. You wanna hear Portman say naughty stuff? That's your movie.