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Video Sundays. Twin Trailers To The Death

Turns out Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are each starring in a romantic comedy in 2011 with the same exact ethical conundrum at its crux.

 

While everybody was jockeying about, singing or screaming about Black Swan, I couldn't help but notice that its twin female leads were not going to confine their rivalry to some ballerina mirror mask death match. And though I found Portman "better" than I often do, and though I respected the conceit of an unsympathetic lead, the real winner in BS is Kunis: her smarts, her daring, her everything-about-living angle on the dark-side/antithesis trope she's saddled with. As chance and Hollywood would have it, the next round is yet more, um, meta. Turns out Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are each starring in a romantic comedy in 2011 with the same exact ethical conundrum at its crux: can sex ever simply be sex? (Both seem to answer, "No way.") Portman's is directed by Ivan Reitman and she co-stars (as an always-hard-pressed doctor, no less) with Ashton Kutcher, while Kunis gets to spar and sleep with Justin Timberlake under the watch of Will Gluck. Watching these trailers for signs of life, I really only get some verve from the latter. That is, it looks like it might actually be funny, based on timing and chemistry, not laughably beautiful mugging set to adult-contemporary bathos-rock. Suffice to say, as far as trailers go, the first round goes to Ms. Mila Kunis and serves as a reminder that I really need to see Easy A already.

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I noticed this, too! Crazy. I know Hollywood loves to make the same film twice (reminds me of the only thing I remember from Contact: ‘Why build one when you can build two for twice the price?’), but using two actresses who are appearing in the same film as near-dopplegangers of each other for the same film playing the same male fantasy? I can’t say ‘unexpected’, I can only think, "Why did it take so long?’ I can say that I am surprised that they bothered to cast two different male leads when there really wasn’t any need. They probably commissioned two scripts, as well. Seems unnecessary. Two different directors, using two different sets? This is the kind of waste that this type of perplexing homogeneity could so easily avoid. Think of it: The first green films, made by recycling all of their elements but one, and powered completely by solar and cocaine.
The screencap for the “Friends with Benefits” trailer is terrifying. It looks like a shadowy demon is rising out of Mila Kunis’ crotch.
That’s the sequel, a horror-sex-comedy: JT as sex demon with supernatural (ahem) techniques, kinda like the end of The Kingdom but for 90 minutes of raunchy hilarity!

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