“We can learn a lot by setting two things alongside one another. It’s even better if we have a reason to do so.”
“Can we really discuss 13 Going on 30 without mentioning Big?
Big (1988): When a boy wishes to be big at a magic wish machine, he wakes up the next morning and finds himself in an adult body literally overnight.
13 Going on 30 (2004): A 13 year old girl plays a game on her 13th birthday and wakes up the next day as a 30 year old woman.
There are many words and phrases to explain why some films appear to be very similar to other films: Remake, update, homage, rip-off, mash-up, inspired by, parallels, movie mapping, story patterns, story echo, influences, and good old-fashioned plagiarism.
Sea of Love= Basic Instinct
A Stranger Among Us= Witness
Double Indemnity=Body Heat
Indecent Proposal=Honeymoon in Vegas
A Christmas Carol= Scrooged
Cyrano de Bergerc=Roxanne
First Blood= The Sheepman
Yojimbo=A Fistful of Dollars
City on Fire= Reservoir Dogs (This one even gets a video Who Do You Think You’re Fooling?)
“We could hold a Fatal Attraction film festival, screening the teen version Swimfan, the African American comedy version The Thin Line Between Love and Hate, the parody superhero hybrid My Super Ex-Girlfriend, the recent hit Obsessed.”
The Starter Screenplay
Of course, before Fatal Attraction there was Play Misty for Me. The 1971 film was the directorial debut of Clint Eastwood, who would later say that the film was “The original Fatal Attraction.” Play Misty for Me was written by Jo Heims and Dean Riesner. Even if you haven’t seen that film, see if the IMDB descrription doesn’t sound familar:
“A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.”
There is a long standing debate on just how much the work of Christopher Marlowe shaped the works of William Shakespeare. But the cycle never really stops as Shakespeare has been accused of stealing from the Roman writer Plautus and Plautus adapted many a Greek playwright.
There are plenty of books and articles as critics discuss the similarities of such and such a film. Tomorrow well look at what some filmmakers and screenwriters have to say about the topic.