23rd March 2022
Really, what Emma wants is to love and be loved like all the supporting female characters who wander through the movie. To which I say, hooray for the other ladies. Just when we tire of admiring the simulation of another triumph in the sack, along comes Juno�s wonderful, feisty, warmhearted Olivia Thirlby as Emma's younger sister, who is radiantly, unconflictedly happy about marrying her beau. Mumblecore honey and Greenberg star Greta Gerwig generates fresh air as Emma's roommate and fellow hospital intern, a deadpan truth-teller whose quips don't keep her from appreciating a man who appreciates her. And The Office's inimitable Mindy Kaling enlivens her scenes as another roomie/d is cute and all, but the real strings worth tying are those that bind this sisterhood of sharp, interesting, sexually active women together. Where's their starring movie? C+
Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) have a history, kind of. They have met three times over the past fifteen years. The first when they were at camp as teenagers, the second at a fraternity party Emma randomly ukraine date free app attended, and third in Los Angeles during a farmers market outing. The first two times were during very serious moments in their lives, the third completely free of any entanglements except that it brought them together in the here and now. To clarify then, in case the paign around the film has led you to believe they are best friends (as is what I thought was the case), they are not best friends who begin a no strings attached �friends with benefits� relationship. They are two people who have had multiple chance meetings over time and find themselves attracted to one another, unattached to anyone else, and are very open to the idea of pursuing nothing else than an on-call sex buddy relationship. That is not altogether true because Adam could not be anymore obvious with his adorable attraction towards Emma or the fact that he is completely in love with her. Emma on the other hand is not the commitment type. Emma and Adam do become friends over the course of their time together but as this is a romantic comedy things get complicated, and very quickly.
Credit the superb direction by Ivan Reitman, or the warm and fuzzy feelings Portman and Kutcher ooze onto the viewer, or just the carefree humor that fills the script and is hit spot on by everyone in the film, but this is a younger, more natural romantic comedy that works every angle almost perfectly. One could do without a few of the side storylines going on as there are a ton and half of them no one cares about in the least. The relationship that is built between Emma and Adam will have you rooting for them to end up together, and yes, it is obvious from the beginning that they are headed to a life of bliss with each other. It is the getting there part, the watching of Emma dodge her feelings at every turn but then do some thing that makes them completely evident. Or seeing Adam struggle with keeping his cool while inside all he wants to do is cuddle. It is a winsome romp that Reitman has directed and not one that will dissatisfy a viewer looking for a breezy romantic comedy.
Over a series of three meet-cutes between Emma (Portman) and Adam (Kutcher) one thing becomes very clear...they have an instant and obvious attraction to one another. It is not simply in the words the script calls for them to say or the direction present in the scene. Their chemistry comes very naturally and as a viewer you can feel and see they are a match before they even begin their wild ride of pretending feelings can remain outside the bedroom door.