No Strings Attached, Robin Hood, Avatar, Pretty Woman: films on TV today

Casual flings and arrows and slings: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

No Strings Attached ★★★
11.15pm-12.55am BBC1 


Released six months before the identically pitched Friends with Benefits, this raunchy romantic comedy is predicated on casual, commitment-free sex. Or at least, that’s the plan, when old friends Natalie Portman (a doctor) and Ashton Kutcher (a TV-show assistant) agree to a purely physical arrangementÉ they won’t even expect breakfast. It’s a modern take on social etiquette in a culture of “hook-ups”, but at heart, it’s an old-fashioned falling-in-love story. Veteran director Ivan Reitman and screenwriter Elizabeth Meriwether (TV’s New Girl) have their couple do sweet romcom things like miss each other, get jealous, fall out and take advice from friends. Lake Bell and Greta Gerwig give the cast indie cred, but it’s not as daring – or shocking – as it appears.

Robin Hood ★★★★
6.50-9.00pm Movie Mix 

No, not the one with Russell Crowe, or the other one with Kevin Costner and that song by Bryan Adams… Actually, this version was overshadowed by Costner’s film because it was released the same summer. It’s worth a look, though, for Uma Thurman’s turn as Maid Marian, even if Patrick Bergin lacks a bit of oomph.

Avatar ★★★
9.00pm-12.10am Film4

Breaking pretty much every box-office record set by his own Titanic, James Cameron’s sci-fi fantasy is film-making on the most epic scale, exploring a planet inhabited by tall blue aliens. Because little and green is so cliche.     

Pretty Woman ★★★★
9.00-10.55pm BBC3 

It could have been Uma Thurman and Burt Reynolds finding love on the sidewalk (no, really) but, in the end, Richard Gere and Julia Roberts were cast and the rest is Hollywood history. Who can believe it’s been 25 years? 

The Kite Runner ★★★
9.00-11.00pm BBC4 

Marc Forster’s dramatisation of Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel is a simple but uplifting story of a man who travels from America back to his native Afghanistan to make amends for a sin he committed in childhood.    


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