Thursday, October 4, 2012
No Strings Attached
In the movie, No Strings Attached, starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, there are products and famous places placed throughout. These include alcoholic brand names, cars, Apple products, and places unique to LA. These products fit into the script and enhance the characters as well as the atmosphere and plot. In Everything’s an Argument, Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz express that "because causal arguments are almost always complex, they seldom can yield more than a high degree of probability and are almost always subject to critique or charges of false causality" (p. 344, 3). Essentially, there are varying opinions on whether or not this particular movie has incorporated these products in an appropriate way.
The cars parallel the personalities of the characters. For example, Natalie Portman's character is an MIT graduate finishing medical school. Her serious and down to earth character drives an Audi. In contrast, Ashton Kutcher's father whose morals are that of a materialistic Hollywood star drives a red Mercedes. Mercedes is the brand of car that gets more attention in this film. The car is meant to be noted by the audience since the father zooms off in this making a scene. However, Portman’s Audi is just a side note n the movie and could easily be missed. Having products that have similar purposes, but from various companies, could cause issues with the companies. Typically, it is simply who paid more for their product to be shown.
The movie takes place in Las Angeles, California; home to movie stars and the W hotel and LA food trucks. One scene in particular that stands out to me is when Kutcher and Portman are on a set at Paramount Pictures. This establishes logos. Both the studio and Kutcher, a well-known successful actor, are associated with one another. This is incorporated into the movie and flows with the plot. Portman is simply visiting Kutcher at his new job. This job just happens to be with paramount pictures. I do not think this feature takes away from the scene, nor the scene take away from its legacy. I feel it is a balance.
What is a movie without the device of pathos? No Strings Attached, although a bit apathetic at times, sparks emotions of loneliness, love, and apprehension. A majority of these scenes feature apple products and booze. Budweiser, Patron, Tuborg, Stolichnaya, and Stella Artois are among the alcohol present throughout the film. Beer, along with other alcoholic beverages, is often associated with repressive feelings, anger, and inappropriate behaviors. These behaviors often result in rash decisions. In this movie the two characters decide to use one another to meet their selfish desires. This leads to heartache along the way but love in the end. One must pay very close attention in order to catch the beers role. The movie outshines the advertisement of each beer company. Following with this idea of products enhancing emotions, Juan Tarancon in Genre Matters says, "Genre is primarily characterized by its standardized elements, but also by its unexpected, non-customary manifestations as well a by it's ultimately communicative rationale.” In this romantic comedy, the presence of these different advertised beers can help distinguish the genre of this particular motion picture. It helps bring the emotions of romance, and comic relief into play; such as bringing cupcakes into the apartment of highly emotional women in one scene.
iPhone after iPhone, there is no question as to which company was backing up the electronics in this film. Although the use of apple products is not subtle, the iPhone is at the center of communication between the 'friends with benefits.' Apple's targeting the teenage and early adulthood age in this movie. Kutcher and Portman are distinguished Hollywood stars. Apple is a product universally known. Together, Apple and these two stars create ethos. Apple chose a successful pair to promote their product. In the same sense, Apple is creating believability. The iPhone creates the realistic sense of how these two characters interacts. The characters promote the usage of this product.