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It's a reversal of traditional gender roles, and an indication that we might be in for something fresh, daring and different.

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It's a reversal of traditional gender roles, and an indication that we might be in for something fresh, daring and different.

Except, we're not. Of course, you have to have obstacles in this kind of movie. Something has to keep the characters apart before they can enjoy their srrings reconciliation.

But the fear of commitment that plagues Portman's character is enough of a contrivance without all the additional troubles that get piled on. Letting the tension evolve naturally from the insecurities of relatable, well-developed figures would have been preferable, but once Kutcher's character goes all soft and gooey, the movie does too.

For a while, though, the very modern relationship that writer Elizabeth Meriwether lays out for us has a snappy, spirited energy and an appealing, unexpected raunchy streak. Portman's Emma and Kutcher's Adam first hooked up as awkward adolescents at summer camp, then ran into each other again 10 years later at a fraternity party, and then again a few more years later in Los Angeles as attractive adults who are both up-and-coming in their careers.

Emma works 80 hours a week as a doctor in residence, then comes home to wisecracking roommates played by Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling and Guy Branum, among the well-cast supporting string. Lake Bell is dead-on as a driven, high-strung producer on the show, who's secretly smitten by Adam but too much of a social moron to act on her feelings.

But Kline, who starred as a regular guy who pretends to be the U. And that's one of the movie's greatest downfalls.

sttings His cynical definition of love is a cliche — an aging womanizer clinging to his youth — and pop culture references involving his interest in Burning Man and Lil' Wayne feel uncomfortable and forced. Adam's dad also steals away his latest girlfriend, which initially is what sends Adam into a drunken tailspin and inspires him to say yes to Emma's no-hassle plan.

Portman is intelligent and confident here as she calls all the shots, and while Kutcher is in his usual agreeable puppy-dog mode — and doesn't appear to have been challenged in the slightest by this material — the two make a sufficiently likable duo. Etrings spectacular, but acceptable. Running time: minutes.

Two stars out of four. Most Popular.