No Strings Attached, which starts Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, is often compared to Friends With Benefits that Features Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. Knowing that the movie has been rated R the viewer can go in with an idea that the film will have strong content. The movie starts off at summer camp as teenagers both Emma and Adam become the main characters they meet a couple one more time when they’re in college and later on at a market but fail to keep in touch. One night Adam’s and his girlfriend breakup and he ends up meeting with Emma again. Here they have sex for the first time. They have sex a second time and end up making an agreement that they will have casual sex with ‘no strings attached’ meaning that emotional feeling will not get involved in their new relationship.
Adam later finds out that his ex-girlfriend is now dating his father , this girl is portrayed as a “blonde bomb shell” always seen wearing small clothes that highlight her breast and legs. She is also portrayed as a woman who is only with his father for his money, in this part the movie places an emphasis on the stereotypes that blonde women encounter. Adams masculinity is put in question since he does not have a stable job ,and his girlfriend has left him for his father. He is not portrayed as a ‘looser’ since he is still able to have casual sex with a ‘hot girl’ like Emma. Masculinity here is saved due to sexual interaction. Yet his ex-girlfriend is bashed for showing her sex appeal in the way she dresses; double standards that hurt the woman’s reputation but portray him in a positive form.
Emma is a medical intern at a hospital in Los Angeles and she explains to Adam that she does not have the time to devote to an emotional relationship so its better to simply have sex. I found this part of the film extremely interesting since the woman is the one who makes the first move breaking a huge gender stereotype of males always taking the initiative especially when it comes to sex. Adam begins to catch feelings for Emma, which once again breaks another gender stereotype since women are often seen as the ones to get emotionally attached easily. Adam begins to get jealous around Sam who is another hospital intern that works with Emma, he is more muscular and has the same career goals as Emma making Sam a threat for Adam. This is when masculinity is largely highlighted in the film, Adam’s feelings continue to grow as he takes Emma on a date but she reminds him that they are simply friends and that the agreement was to not get feelings.
Adam’s dream is to get his writing in film taken seriously and he is able to get a job through the help of Lucy, who is clearly attracted to him. This is problematic because at this moment Adam’s intelligence is completely mocked, the only reason he got a job is because of his looks. This is great example of what women experience in the work field , constant sexual harassment by their bosses in order to provide them with jobs. This is however seen as something comical when it happens to a male, something that needs to be taken way more seriously since issues like these do happen to men as well.
In this film I feel that the stereotypical roles of men and women are switched. She is in the Medical field which is something that is male dominated, she does not get attached as easily as Adam does and she seems to be the dominant one in the relationship. The only problematic thing that I find about this film it’s the ending , it gives an unrealistic finale to the hookup culture. Hookups hardly ever lead to real formal relationships, they tend to end and both people go their own way as if nothing had ever happened. I guess the film took a different approach as to how society works in real life, in this case providing an ending that rarely ever happens. I wish it would have been more realistic on hook-up culture especially in the college scene since that is where most of the hook ups occur.