Comedy veteran Ivan Reitman hasn't directed a film since 2006's 'My Super Ex-Girlfriend,' and for his return to the director's chair -- 'No Strings Attached' -- he has opted to make what a friend of a friend told him a Judd Apatow romantic comedy was supposed to be. The film is crowded with plenty of snappy best friends and warmed-over pop-culture references, the screenplay flips gender roles to little emotional effect, and the chemistry between its two leads is limited to the fact that Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher are both awfully photogenic beings.
We first meet Emma and Adam fifteen years ago, when they attended summer camp together and had already established their respective personalities -- he's the sensitive type, she's far more pragmatic. Jump ahead by ten years, where they reunite at a frat kegger and have grown into persons resembling Portman and Kutcher. She invites him to "some stupid thing" the following day, which turns out to be her father's funeral. (Any other movie would settle for the unlikely awkwardness of the situation alone. This one has Adam attending the funeral in a college hoodie, shorts and flip-flops.)