“Black Swan” stars follow-up with dueling booty-call buddy rom-coms

 
 

I’d like to play a game of odds with you. What are the odds two actresses who co-star together in a critically acclaimed drama about ambition, artistry and absolutely losing one’s mind would follow up those performances with lighter roles? Not bad – actor often follow dramatic roles with lighter ones to shows range. OK, so what are the odds that they would follow up with light, fluffy romantic comedies? OK, still not terrible – romantic comedies are a staple on every young actresses’ agenda. Right, then what are the odds they would follow up with light, fluffy romantic comedies about creating bedroom buddy arrangement with male friends? Um, what? Congratulations Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, you have defied the odds – though not in a good way.

Both Natalie and Mila are starring in dueling movies about booty call relationships with a best male friend. Natalie’s film, No Strings Attached, and Mila’s film, Friends with Benefits, co-star Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake, respectively. I know there’s no such thing as a new idea in Hollywood, but – come on – this is ridiculous. Both Black Swan actresses follow up with the exact same movie? That isn’t even hyperbole; check out the trailers – they’re the exact same movie.

No Strings Attached

Friends with Benefits

[Note: This is the Red Band trailer so expect naughty language and situations.]

See, I wasn’t kidding. Now, we could pick apart which movie looked more promising than the other. I suspect your answer will depend largely on which male co-star you find less annoyingly smug – Ashton or Justin? But what I really want to know is, ladies, why?

I realize both films were probably finished filming well before Black Swan was released and became a critical darling. So that means neither actress probably put much thought in exactly how best to follow up such acclaimed work. But, really, why? Neither film looks particularly good. Neither film looks particularly original. So how did they both end up in one? Did their agents get drunk one night and compare notes?

Worse still, will No String Attached with its ubiquitous trailer and release date four days before the Academy Awards nominations are announced, become an albatross around Natalie’s Oscar neck? Will this be her Norbit? The bad follow-up choice that torpedoes her chances, like the fat-suit film did for Eddie Murphy in 2007? Man, I hope not. But Ashton hasn’t has a hit movie since Dude, Where’s My Car? So, like I was saying, ladies – why?

 
 

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