(I have not seen the movie, nor do I have any plans to, just to clarify my total lack of knowledge of the true plot line or ending.)
First the idea that there's been a movie produced on the premise of a "no strings attached" (NSA) arrangement is ludicrous. However I noticed, in a rare moment of paying real attention to commercials, that they are selling this as the first date movie of 2011. Really? So a movie about a sexually convenient relationship is a good movie for a new romance?
Now I am not a prude, in fact I had a few of those before such there was a descriptive term for it. I am in fact "involved" with someone where we do not talk about the future or "us", not a bit. Nor am I joined at the hip with the concept of monogamy but I am not getting this. Perhaps it's part of the "Pretty Woman" syndrome of movies - the most unlikely arrangement results in love and implied foreverness; the idea that getting the milk for free (or not so free in the case of P.W.) results in the guy buying the cow despite conventional wisdom.
It further cements the notion that women can change men, that women are always ultimately looking for a relationship regardless of what they say. This implied message is what galls the most about this movie and others like it. Women will connive, seduce, flatter, anything to not cop to the fact that they want a relationship; and in fact are not all that picky about who they want to settle down with. The idea that women need without rational thought, without regard for anyone else's feelings to pair off and ideally mate asap because there is an invisible, inaudible clock propelling them towards merciless one track functioning when it comes to dating is disrespectful at best, and misogynistic to the nth degree at worst (and is the more likely reality).
Now I realize I watch plenty of movies that do no service to women, and enjoy them. For example I just finished watching the entire Thin Man series with Myrna Loy and William Powell. While I took great pleasure in the witty repartee, the lovely fashions, and the relative innocence of sexuality, occasionally I winced as Nora Charles is portrayed as not particularly clever (sometimes rather dense in fact) and seen as offering little to the solution of the crimes. The next series I will be viewing is all the James Bond movies - the ultimate in women as eye candy, especially in the early days. Now there is a bit of redemption here because some of the maniacal evil geniuses are women, and some of the later movies have more admirable female characters - small steps.
Why is this movie getting under my skin so bad? Good question, one I wish I could answer with anything like clarity. An excellent feminist dissection would be great but apparently I don't have it in me. I just know there are images bother me more than others. Perhaps the rapid fire witty dialog of Nice and Nora soothe me, maybe the sexy outfits, great chase scenes, and fabulous cars distract me. I don't know. I do know that the Charles' are a remnant of another time, a time when women had barely had the vote; Bond movies have evolved, albeit slower that molasses runs in a Vermont February but there has been some improvement. Movies like NSA just earn my annoyance, rise my ire, and generally make me haunt Netfl*x for more interesting options than mass market movies.