Throughout Natalie Portman’s early career, there weren’t many opportunities for her to star in straight-up romantic comedies. One of her first rom-coms can now be seen for free on IMDB TV.
No Strings Attached stars Natalie Portman as Dr. Emma Kurtzman. Ashton Kutcher stars as Adam Franklin. The two met as teenagers at a summer camp and throughout the years they run into each other from time to time, never keeping in touch. When Adam finds out that his father Alvin (Kevin Kline) is romancing Adam’s ex-girlfriend, it sends Adam into a drunk tailspin. Adam does the one thing you shouldn’t do when drunk and reeling – pick up your phone and drunk call all your female contacts for a hookup.
Adam wakes up the next morning on Emma’s couch. After receiving much ridicule from her friends, who inform Adam that he was crying before passing out naked on the couch, Emma takes him to her room to find his pants. The two then have sex.
Then, they have sex again at Adam’s house. This time, though, before Emma leaves, they agree to enter a “no strings attached” relationship, where the only thing on the table is sex. But Adam, being the more emotional of the two, finds himself beginning to get jealous of one of Emma’s co-workers.
So, going against their agreement, Adam begins to up his romantic game towards Emma. His push for romance makes Emma feel awkward, as it is going against everything she wanted. She ends their “no strings attached” relationship. A strange thing happens, as they do in romantic comedies, Emma begins to miss Adam. Could she also be having true feelings towards him?
Alcohol, the world’s best truth serum, brings the two back together in bed, and even though Emma does miss Adam, she sticks to her guns about only wanting to keep things physical between the two.
As with most romantic comedies, realization comes at the absolute worst time. When it hits Emma and she finally decides to drive over to Adam’s place and tell him her true feelings, she sees him with his colleague Lucy.
When Adam rushes to the hospital because his father has been admitted, Emma is there waiting for him. Will timing finally be right for the “no strings attached” pair?
Ivan Reitman (Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters) directed Natalie Portman in 2011’s No Strings Attached from a script written by Elizabeth Meriwether. Reitman likened the causal sex of the movie as to how kids of that generation handled their relationships. “I noticed from my own kids that with this generation in particular, young people find it easier to have a sexual relationship than an emotional one,” he surmised via USA TODAY. “That is how the sexes deal with each other today.”
The Natalie Portman movie, while not a critical darling, fared quite well at the box office. Reitman made the feature for $25 million and saw a box office return of nearly $150 million.
This was Natalie Portman’s first true jump into the rom-com genre, something that didn’t go unnoticed by her co-star. Ashton Kutcher said, via Collider, “She may not have done a rom-com before, but she’s done so much work on so many different levels. I mean, I even watch ‘Garden State’ or something like that, that’s comedic in and of itself, but also is true, specific organic performances.”
Natalie Portman also pulled down an executive producing credit for No Strings Attached, another first for her and it was an experience she truly relished. She admitted that her involvement wasn’t nearly as intense as both Reitman and Meriwether’s but being able to watch both throughout the process was a true learning experience for Portman.
Not only was No Strings Attached a new genre for Natalie Portman to tackle, but she was also just coming off one of her most intense productions with Black Swan. Portman described to Collider what the switch was like for her. “It was pretty great. It was like a palate cleanser after all of that really discipline and focus, a very serious kind of set to a really playful, fun – obviously everyone is still very professional on this movie, but there’s an improvisational feel all the time and everyone is there to play.”
For her role in Black Swan, Portman won herself an Academy Award for Best Actress. But Black Swan is not all that Natalie Portman is known for. Perhaps her most well-known role came in 199 when she joined the Star Wars universe as Padmé Amidala in all three of George Lucas’s Star Wars prequel films, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. What is more impressive than starring in those movies is the fact that during this time, Portman was also attending Harvard University where the actress was studying for her bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Natalie Portman followed up her sex-filled performance in No Strings Attached with the raunchy and quite juvenile, Your Highness. It was another departure for the oft-serious actress. Portman then righted her ship when she joined another franchise, this one in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thor. As Jane Foster, she would see the MCU a few more times. In fact, as Jane Foster once again, Portman looks to be filling Thor’s boots and lifting Mjölnir in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.
If you want to see a sexually playful Natalie Portman, head on over to IMDB TV and give No Strings Attached a go. If you don’t have one, you will need to create a free account with IMDB, a simple process, to be able to watch their free movies.