‘No Strings Attached’: Natalie Portman’s ‘Norbit’?

Laura Donovan Contributor
Font Size:

Back in December, when critics everywhere were lavishing praise upon Natalie Portman’s performance in “Black Swan,” she appeared to have a lock on the best actress Oscar. But then the trailer for “No Strings Attached” was released, and a chill wind blew through Hollywood. Suddenly, pundits everywhere were calling this Ivan Reitman-directed romantic comedy “Natalie Portman’s ‘Norbit’ ” and predicting that Portman’s award season fate would parallel that of Eddie Murphy in 2007, when the “Dreamgirls” star had his award dreams shattered by the trailers for him in drag and in a fat suit. (The double death!)

So now that “No Strings Attached” is out and in the wild, how is it faring among critics? Is it the atrocious train wreck that Portman supporters feared it would be?

Well, it’s bad. But Portman’s awards team can rest easy: It’s not nearly as bad as “Norbit.”

The problem, at least according to The Times’ Betsy Sharkey, is that “an obsession with raunchy one-liners trips everything up, turning a clever conceit into something closer to a sleazy, cheesy affair.”

Full story: Critical mass: ‘No Strings Attached’