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The Plot: A group of wildly divergent personalities — including a sad sack who's unlucky in love (Kristen Wiig/Ed Helms) and a big-boned, scene-stealing weirdo (Melissa McCarthy/Zach Galifianakis) — encounter various crises before a climactic wedding.
The Difference: The Hangover focuses only on the aftermath of a wild bachelor party, while Bridesmaids dramatizes everything from the engagement to the wedding itself. The latter movie is also more of a vehicle for a single star (Wiig) than a Hangover-ian ensemble piece.
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Dead Poets Society/Mona Lisa Smile
The Plot: In the 1950s, a free-spirited teacher (Robin Williams/Julia Roberts) takes a select group of students at a conservative, single-sex school under his/her wing and inspires them to explore the road less traveled.
The Difference: The former is set in high school, while the latter takes place in college. Also, nobody dies in Roberts' movie. Other than that, though, this is a pretty basic cut-and-paste job.
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Crazy Heart/Country Strong
The Plot: A talented, alcoholic, has-been twanger (Jeff Bridges/Gwyneth Paltrow) attempts a comeback while clashing with a younger, sexier country star (Colin Farrell/Leighton Meester).
The Difference: Though neither flick's got a truly happy ending, Country Strong's is much more tragic (and ludicrous).
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Freaky Friday/Like Father Like Son
The Plot: In an adaptation of Mary Rodgers's novel Freaky Friday, an uptight parent (Barbara Harris/Dudley Moore) and her/his laid-back child (Jodie Foster/Kirk Cameron) learn to appreciate each other after they magically switch bodies.
The Difference: The reason for Freaky Friday's body switching isn't explained, but in Like Father Like Son, it's the result of one party accidentally quaffing a "brain-exchanging serum." Hmm — maybe inexplicable is the way to go.
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The Craft/The Covenant
The Plot: All hell breaks loose when four high school students get deeply immersed in the occult.
The Difference: There's a whole bunch of pseudo-historical hocus pocus in The Covenant, while The Craft stays firmly focused on the present. But as high-concept supernatural trash goes, the two are evenly matched.
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Raiders of the Lost Ark/Tomb Raider
The Plot: A brilliant, sexy archeologist (Harrison Ford/Angelina Jolie) risks life and limb searching for ancient treasures in exotic locales.
The Difference: Indiana Jones favors a whip, while Lara Croft never goes anywhere without her twin silver pistols. Additionally, one's a classic action/adventure saga, and the other is based on a video game.
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The Plot: An unhappily married hottie (Diane Lane/Jonathan Rhys Meyers) begins a clandestine affair with a sultry foreigner (Olivier Martinez/Scarlett Johansson), which eventually leads to murder.
The Plot: Caution, spoilers: Rhys Meyers kills Johansson himself (and gets away with it), while Martinez is done in by Lane's jealous husband (Richard Gere).
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My Best Friend's Wedding/Made of Honor
The Plot: A callow workaholic (Julia Roberts/Patrick Dempsey) realizes that she/he is in love with her/his best friend (Dermot Mulroney/Michelle Monaghan) — just as that best friend gets engaged and asks Workaholic to be his/her maid of honor. Can our heroine/hero stop the wedding in time?
The Difference: Apparently, McDreamy is more irresistible than she of the megawatt smile. Made of Honor's protagonist ends up getting the girl, while the conclusion of My Best Friend's Wedding is much more bittersweet.
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She's All That/Drive Me Crazy
The Plot: Pygmalion gets a modern twist when a popular high schooler (Freddie Prinze Jr./Melissa Joan Hart) transforms an outsider (Rachel Leigh Cook/Adrian Grenier) into the coolest kid on campus — and falls in love with his/her project in the process. As is law in high school movies, everything comes to a head at the big dance.
The Difference: Though Cook's character doesn't initially know Prinze is only paying attention to her because of a bet — and man, is she mad when she finds out — Hart's character explains it all (the get-popular-quick scheme, that is) to Grenier.
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The Fugitive/Double Jeopardy
The Plot: An upstanding citizen (Harrison Ford/Ashley Judd) is wrongfully accused of killing his/her spouse, then sets off to find out what really happened. Tommy Lee Jones also pops up in both as a no-nonsense lawman whose relationship to the protagonist shifts over time.
The Difference: We learn eventually that Ford's wife was murdered accidentally — but Judd's husband faked his own death, making him the true villain of Double Jeopardy. Twist!
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Big/13 Going on 30
The Plot: After impulsively wishing to fast-forward through those awkward adolescent years, a young teen finds that she/he has been transformed into a 30-year-old (Tom Hanks/Jennifer Garner).
The Difference: Jennifer Garner's Jenna is actually transported to her own future — where she finds out that her grown-up self is kind of a bitch — while Tom Hanks's Josh simply morphs into a grown man overnight.
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The Sweetest Thing/Road Trip
The Plot: Scatalogical humor abounds as pals (Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate/Paulo Costanzo, Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, and DJ Qualls) embark on — you guessed it — a road trip, racing against time so that the protagonist can tell something important to the man/woman she/he loves.
The Difference: The boys are in college, but the girls are in their late 20s — meaning that their immature shenanigans are just a bit less excusable. Also, the first movie clearly has better hats.
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Pretty in Pink/Some Kind of Wonderful
The Plot: A working-class '80s teen (Molly Ringwald/Eric Stoltz) dreams of going out with a rich, popular classmate (Andrew McCarthy/Lea Thompson), oblivious to the fact that her/his misfit best friend (Jon Cryer/Mary Stuart Masterson) is secretly in love with her/him.
The Difference: Again, the endings are where these two really diverge: Ringwald chooses the rich guy (poor Ducky!), while Stoltz ends up with his pal.
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Pretty Woman/The Wedding Date
THE PLOT: A singleton (Richard Gere/Debra Messing) hires a prostitute (Same Plot Different Genders MVP Julia Roberts/Dermot Mulroney) to pose as his/her companion for an extended period of time. The two end up falling for each other.
THE DIFFERENCE: Surprisingly enough, there's nary a wedding in Pretty Woman. Additionally, Roberts's Vivian is sharp but uneducated, while Mulroney's Nick, for some reason, is hooking despite having earned a Comparative Literature degree at Brown. (Insert joke about liberal arts majors here.)
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The Bourne Identity/Salt
The Plot: Questions of identity and tons of plot twists dog a CIA agent (Matt Damon/Angelina Jolie) on the lam.
The Difference: This one's a bit of a cheat, since Salt was initially written for a man — Tom Cruise was originally attached to the film. Even so, the biggest difference between the two is that Salt is peppered with plot holes, while Bourne has its own snaky logic.
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Bad Santa/Bad Teacher
The Plot: An alcoholic, foul-mouthed misanthrope (Billy Bob Thornton/Cameron Diaz) somehow has a job that requires him/her to work closely with children; dirty jokes and shocking inappropriateness ensue.
The Difference: Both comedies are pretty black, but Bad Santa is slightly darker — Thornton's character is actually a criminal, while Diaz's is just criminally bad at her job.
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The Full Monty/Calendar Girls
The Plot: A group of normal, cash-strapped Britons attempt to make extra pounds by getting naked.
The Difference: The men of The Full Monty present a striptease show, but the Girls elect to show their goodies in a more demure way — they pose for photos that are compiled in the eponymous calendar.
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Under the Tuscan Sun/A Good Year
The Plot: A harried city dweller (Diane Lane/Russell Crowe) migrates to a rundown but picturesque house in a pastoral European town, where she/he finally finds love and happiness.
The Difference: Crowe heads to Provence, while Lane finds herself in the titular Italian region. When the locales are this quaint and idyllic, though, it's tough to tell them apart.
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The Plot: Star-crossed lovers — a straight-laced foreign exchange student (Olivia Newton-John/Maxwell Caulfield) and a rebellious leather aficionado (John Travolta/Michelle Pfeiffer) — sing and dance their way through senior year at Rydell High.
The Difference: The first one is a lot better.