Sexuality is one of the most psychologically revealing parts of any human being

Emma, meanwhile, says she doesn’t like dating, then starts dating a fellow d, then seems to develop feelings for her friend, only to physically attack him when he confesses his own feelings

Jennifer Lawrence, who famously wrote of her own experience with unequal pay on the film “American Hustle,” came up in Cosmo’s interview as well: “In terms of what she could do, in some ways, the deeper issue is how much she and women are valued as a whole. It’s like, ‘Oh, well, we can always just get another actress.’ [Whereas] with Leonardo DiCaprio you think, ‘There’s no one like him.’ But Jennifer Lawrence, you just get someone else. Women all across the board are just not valued,” the agent said.

Frances McDormand addressed the issue around the same time as Lawrence. While at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, she noted that she’s only received her going quote once in her entire career, for her role in “Transformers 3.»

“I worked very hard for that money, I’m very proud of my work. I’m glad I did that film and I’m proud that I finally got paid what I was told I was worth by the industry,” she said. “But that is nothing. That is a tenth of what most males my age, with my experience and my reputation as a film actor make. We’ve never been paid commensurately and that has to change.”

With an Oscar under her belt and a potential second, or at least a nomination, coming up, there’s no way in hell Portman would be offered a third of Kutcher’s salary any longer. But women have to keep standing up for themselves and demanding better. Most recently Emmy Rossum demanded equal pay for “Shameless” and won. It’s hard to figure out salaries when actresses might not be privy to the information of a co-star, but it must be done if the industry is going to achieve equality.

Adam courts Emma, then agrees to meaningless sex, then tries to romance her, then (at her suggestion) tries to pick up other women

For that reason, if you’re going to make a movie about sex, you have an obligation to be honest about it. We need to know why characters are having sex – what motivates them, how they feel about it, what their expression of sexuality says about them. Do it right and you end up with Last Tango in Paris or, on the comedic side, The 40 Year-Old Virgin . Do it incorrectly and you end up with No Strings Attached . This is a movie that introduces a very provocative idea, only to progressively water it down until the audience is left with a generic romantic comedy virtually indistinguishable from all the other generic romantic comedies.

Things get off on the wrong foot immediately, with a series of sloppy flashbacks in which Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) keep coincidentally running into each other over the years. They finally solidify their friendship as adults. He’s an aspiring screenwriter, she’s a med student. One night, they spontaneously have sex, leading Emma to suggest that they become «friends with benefits,» i.e. have a sexual relationship with no emotional component. Adam inexplicably agrees, despite the fact that we can tell from the get-go that he has feelings for her. The two begin shagging like rabbits, and eventually Adam cannot repress his feelings any longer. Emma immediately becomes freaked out. We’re told that she has deep-seated relationship fears, although the film never tells us what they are or from where they originated. Suddenly their «simple» arrangement becomes much more complicated.

That could be an intriguing premise for a movie, but No Strings Attached doesn’t know what to do with it. I can’t remember the last time I saw a picture in which the characters behaved so inconsistently from scene to scene. These characters are all over the map, and my inability to understand them impeded my ability to care about them.

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