Is No Strings Attached a True Story?

Directed by Ivan Reitman, ‘No Strings Attached’ is a romantic-comedy movie that revolves around Adam and Emma, two friends who decide to have a sexual relationship devoid of emotional attachment. But despite their planning, the couple begins to grow closer and gets involved in each other’s life to the point that the imaginary boundaries set by them begin to blur. They eventually reach a stage where it becomes impossible to stay detached, so Adam and Emma must make the tough call — should they part ways or accept the feelings that they have for one another?

The romantic comedy was a critical and commercial success. Since its release in 2011, it has set a steep task for other films of the genre to meet its standards of storytelling and relationship development, but very few have come close to it. So it’s not surprising that a lot of fans to this day often wonder if a true story inspires the movie. In case you have similar queries, then you have come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.

Is No Strings Attached Based on a True Story?

No, ‘No Strings Attached’ is not based on a true story. As it is obvious from the title, the movie explores relationships devoid of emotional attachment, whose only goal is sexual gratification between consenting adults. Furthermore, it also delves deeper into the shift in the western social consciousness of the relationship between men and women. In the late 80s, the romantic comedy film ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ revolved around whether a cisgender person can be friends with the opposite sex.

However, a little over two decades following its release, ‘No Strings Attached’ asked the same question with its own twist — can one just have a sexual relationship with their friend with no emotional commitments? The stark generational shift in our understanding of love, sex, and relationships couldn’t be emphasized better than this, and the Ivan Reitman directorial not only ingeniously captures it but also addresses other complexities of contemporary love affairs.

In an interview, Reitman explained his goal with the Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher film was the honest depiction of real-life situations and people. So, he did precisely that and looked at no strings attached relationships from a humane perspective. When asked about his opinion on such love affairs, the director was quick to point out that his long marriage has taught him that the complexities of a relationship only increase with time. Therefore, he believed that sexual relationships devoid of emotional attachment can only work in the short run.

‘No Strings Attached’ is interestingly unique in the sense that most romantic comedies don’t explore casual relationships. However, at the time of its release, the film stood out because it brought something new for the viewers who were probably too tired of the usual love stories. There are not many movies that have experimented with its plots like the Ivan Reitman directorial, except for ‘Friends with Benefits,’ which has an almost similar plot and explores similar themes of relationship, love, and attachment.

The Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis movie revolve around Dylan and Jamie, friends who naively opt to have a sexual relationship thinking that emotional attachment is something that they can control. However, just like Emma and Adam, they eventually fall in love with one another, which complicates their casual relationship. So, even though Ivan Reitman has used real-life situations and people to grow his understanding of casual love affairs, the characters that we see in the film are not real. Therefore, we can conclude that romantic comedy is not a true story.

Read More: Where Was No Strings Attached Filmed?