No Strings Attached

Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline | R |

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ROMANTIC COMEDY

To think I almost felt bad for Portman. Just as Oscar buzz peaks for her role in Black Swan, here comes what looks like a miserably dinky rom-com, debuting (tellingly) in the cinematic wasteland that is January. Well, that'll learn me, because Strings is sexy, witty and smarter than it looks. Portman is stunning as Emma, a quirky doctor whose proposal-to be sexually but not romantically involved-beguiles aspiring writer Adam (Kutcher, oozing charm). "Don't list me as your emergency contact," she tells him. "I won't come." Savvy viewer, you know how that plot cliche will turn out. Strings isn't perfect, but the chemistry is terrific, the soundtrack rocks, and the funny friends (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Mindy Kaling) truly are funny. Sometimes that's all you need.

FOOLS RUSH IN

Matthew Perry, Salma Hayek, and lots of gentle cross-cultural humor? Call me a fool in love.

LOVE ACTUALLY

Way cheesy, but the so-called pudgy girl (Martine McCutcheon) lands Hugh Grant, the prime minister.

YOU'VE GOT MAIL

Dated? No! Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan's e-mail romance is way cuter than You've Got Facebook.

WHAT I LOVE THIS WEEK

COLIN FARRELL

Farrell is feral in the new drama The Way Back as a scary/funny prisoner escaping a Siberian gulag.

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST ON DVD

The last film in the (Swedish) trilogy gives Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) an aptly fierce ending.

JAMES BOND IS BACK

It's confirmed: Daniel Craig returns as 007 on Nov. 9, 2012. So what are we gonna do till then?

ERNEST BORGNINE

The Hollywood legend, 94, gets the Life Achievement Award at Jan. 30's SAG Awards (on TNT/TBS, 8 p.m. ET)

"What have I ever done?" asks Borgnine. For starters, more than 100 movies, including 1953's From Here to Eternity and 1969's The Wild Bunch. But he's proudest of his 37-year marriage to Tova (above): "Every time we look at each other, it's as if we've just met."

"Any man on the street with any kind of heart and head could have played [him]," says Borgnine of his touching signature role as a lovelorn butcher in Marty.