Weekend Forecast: Ashton and Natalie Lead a Lean Couples Weekend

Happy Friday! And, uh, what happened to the movies? The January doldrums have rarely looked so sparse, with only one film opening in wide release and a sprinkling of indies finally making their ways to some screens here and there. Let's have a look at the options.


· No Strings Attached: Here you go! Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher's tribute to sleeping with one's friends (does that happen? My friends don't seem to subscribe to this tenet) finally makes its way to the multiplex, making date night safe once again after last week's double-barreled buddy-flick action of Green Hornet and The Dilemma. I don't have much to add beyond what Stephanie Zacharek offered in her review, except to say that the unlikely staying power of those aforementioned films -- and other PG-13 titles -- owes a debt to all the young ticketbuyers subsequently sneaking into NSA. And NSA itself won't take much of a hit, but don't think Paramount won't notice. No worries! Just make it up with the inevitable unrated DVD featuring Oscar-winner Natalie Portman. FORECAST: $18.1 million


Well! This will be quick: The sturdy if slightly didactic recession drama The Company Men gets the wider release it deserves, and director Peter Weir's hiatus-ending The Way Back trickles out onto about 100 screens as well. On the limited art-house front, we've got the swell Danish import Applause and the not-quite-swell Indian import Mumbai Diaries. And... not much else. Anyone up for football on Sunday?