Similar But Not the Same: 5 Pairs of Movies That Are Pretty Much the Same Thing

Friends With Benefits opens July 22, and more annoying than the fact that some studio executive probably said, "You know who I want to see in a movie? Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis!" is the fact that this movie comes out a brief six months after No Strings Attached, which is basically the same story line. Sure, we all got a little mad when Hangover II ended up being pretty much the same thing as Hangover I, but who doesn't go into a sequel without expecting it to be somewhat like the original?

What I have a problem with are movies that purport to be completely separate franchises but are essentially the same story. To make matters more infuriating, these movies tend to appear around the same time, have actors of similar bone structure and have the same number of words in their titles.

In Friends With Benefits, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star as two friends who like to have sex with each other without all of that icky relationship stuff. Of course, there ends up being some kind of complication because it turns out they really like each other and I'm guessing there's a scene of someone running through the streets in the rain.

I really liked this movie the first time I saw it...when it was called No Strings Attached. Okay, maybe that was a rehashing of a David Spade joke, but if the studios aren't even going to try, why should I?

And why are these movies coming out within months of each other? Did Hollywood think that we were just dying for yet another movie about a guy and a girl who are friends but decide to have sex because it's easier than being in a "real relationship"? Did they not think we could just rewatch that episode of Sex and the City?

In any case, this is nothing new, and Hollywood has remade itself time and time again. So, just to drive home our point, we came up with five pairs of movies that are way too much alike.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
CAROLINE EVANS
Contact: CAROLINE EVANS