Posted on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 by Rob Hunter
(Welcome to Seeing Double, a series where two strangely similar films released around the same time are put head-to-head. This time, we’re letting love take the wheel in honor of Valentine’s Day and looking at a pair of movie twins about sex, love, and the futility of denying your feelings.)
Every week is “Love” week here at /Film, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day this edition of Seeing Double is focusing on the most American representation of love possible – the romantic comedy. Some say it’s the most honest film genre there is while others call it poppycock of the heart, but there’s no denying the popularity of funny movies about love. Audiences and Hollywood alike just love seeing characters laugh and kiss their way to a happy ending.
2011 saw two high-profile rom-coms hit theater screens just six months apart, both centered on an identical premise, and both starring a cast member from Black Swan and That ’70s Show. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Impossible to believe even? But it’s true, I swear. As insane as it sounds, though, there’s an even bigger mystery surrounding No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits. In the seven years since their release, no one’s ever felt 100% confident identifying which romantic pairing of popular young actors is in which film without a quick IMDB search.
That confusion ends now. Keep reading as we put No Strings Attached and Friends Without Benefits head-to-head and end this madness once and for all.
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2011’s second film featuring a Black Swan starlet having casual sex now has an official trailer. Friends With Benefits was written and directed by Easy A director Will Gluck and stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as a couple who have a very convenient friendship, with benefits, that gets predictably complicated, as these things tend to do. It co-stars Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jenna Elfman, Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins, and Andy Samberg. A red band trailer was released well in advance of this, the theatrical trailer, so while this isn’t the first official look at the film, it’s the one general audiences are going to see. Check it out after the jump. Read More »
Justin Timberlake is really making a play at a dedicated acting career, lack of award recognition for his work in The Social Network be damned. He was great in that film, carrying forward the good work he’d done in Alpha Dog, Black Snake Moan, and, yeah, Southland Tales. He’s currently shooting Now for director Andrew Niccol, but before that hits we’ll see Timberlake in two comedies that are already in the can: Friends With Benefits and Bad Teacher. Read More »
Paramount Pictures has released a red band movie trailer for Ghostbusters/Meatballs director Ivan Reitman‘s new comedy No Strings Attached. The movie follows a lonely doctor who gets lucky with a pretty co-worker (played by Natalie Portman) in a “comedy about the complications of friends with benefits.” The film costars Ashton Kutcher, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, Olivia Thirlby, Kevin Kline, Lake Bell, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, and the next breakout comedy actor (in my opinion) Jake Johnson.
The film actually started out with another title, Fuckbuddies. Of course, Paramount didn’t want to face the problems associated with releasing a movie under that title, so they changed it to Friends With Benefits, which eventually got changed into the truly horrible title No Strings Attached (at least they didn’t go with “No Strings”, the abbreviated title they were testing). The reason they moved on from Friends With Benefits is that another film had already staked claim to the title Friends With Benefits. A day after Paramount released the first trailer for No Strings Attached, Screen Gems released a red band movie for their R-Rated romantic comedy starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis featuring a very similar premise. I thought that must be what makes them different — one is raunchy, and the other isn’t. Looks like I was wrong.
It seems like Paramount is following suit, and has released their own red band trailer. This is one of those red band trailers which is out to prove the movie isn’t just a cookie cutter comedy and is a filthy r-rated movie. So in other words, how many cuts of swears, nudity and sex can you fit into three minutes (not that that’s a bad thing…). Watch it now embedded after the jump.
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Yesterday we posted the movie trailer for Ghostbusters/Meatballs director Ivan Reitman‘s new comedy No Strings Attached starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. The film actually started out with another title, Fuckbuddies. Of course, Paramount didn’t want to face the problems associated with releasing a movie under that title, so they changed it to Friends With Benefits, which eventually got changed into the truly horrible title No Strings Attached (at least they didn’t go with “No Strings”, the abbreviated title they were testing).
The reason they moved on from Friends With Benefits is that another film had already staked claim to the title Friends With Benefits, an R-Rated romantic comedy starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis featuring a very similar premise. Today, Screen Gems has released an uncensored red band movie trailer for their film. Written and directed by Easy A helmer/writer Will Gluck , the film tells the story of the relationship between two friends, which “gets complicated when they decide to get romantic.” The film co-stars Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jenna Elfman, Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins, and Andy Samberg.
This film seems like the more edgy version of No Strings Attached, but in the tradition of romantic comedies, just a generic. Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Emma Stone‘s first collaboration with director Will Gluck, Easy A, hasn’t been released yet, but she’s already set to work with him once more. Stone and her Zombieland co-star Woody Harrelson will be directed by Gluck in Friends With Benefits, which has already lined up Justin Timberlake to star. Read More »
Last month, I was complaining about the fact that Olivia Thirlby had seemingly disappeared from the movie world, and now the talented indie actress is attached to two high profile projects. A couple weeks ago it was announced that Thirlby had landed a role in a big budget sci-fi action film The Darkest Hour produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted/Nightwatch) about a group of American tourists visiting Moscow Russia when an alien invasion occurs.
And today news hit that Olivia has been cast in the new Reitman comedy. Some of you will remember that Thirlby co-starred in Jason Reitman’s Oscar-nominated film Juno. But I’m not talking about THAT Retiman.
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There are three projects in development with the working title of Friends with Benefits, and now one of them has landed Justin Timberlake. Will Gluck is directing this one for Screen Gems, about “a headhunter [who] recruits a magazine editor and since each is too busy to find a mate, they agree to sleep together with no strings attached. Things get complicated when the guy falls for the girl, who’s dating someone else.”
For those keeping score, there’s also the Ivan Reitman film with the same title, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, which was originally called Fuckbuddies. The third use of the title is an NBC pilot written by (500) Days of Summer writers Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber. The TV show could give Screen Gems some competition for the title, but somehow I don’t expect that many of you are going to be heartbroken about a name change for a new romcom. [Deadline]
After the break, we’ll check in on Winona Ryder and Anna Friel. Read More »