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June 20, 2024


The saying "art imitates art" is particularly applicable when it comes to the movies I have listed below. While these movies may be fundamentally different on the surface, dressed in a different setting or genre to make them seem like something else entirely, if you peel back the top layers, you will see that they are essentially the same.

So, read on to discover some movie pairings that are really just two sides of the same coin!


The Coin: Overprotective fathers who will do whatever it takes to find their kidnapped child.

Despite their apparent differences, these two films have two very important things in common: the characters and the plot. In the dark action movie Taken, an ex-CIA agent goes to find his kidnapped daughter after she is taken by traffickers. This father will stop at nothing to have his daughter back. It sounds familiar, doesn't it? All you have to do is scale back the violence, swap out the ex-CIA operative for a clownfish, move the setting to the ocean, and Bam! …you’ve got Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Nemo's father likewise embarks on a quest to save his kid by any means necessary after he is abducted by some divers on a boat. One travels across Europe on foot while the other swims across the sea to find their lost child. There is just one distinction that truly separates these two movies — the father's species.


The Coin: Young girls who aren't treated very well by their families end up developing strange powers.

Upon initial observation, Matilda and Carrie appear to have nothing in common besides the way the movies are titled, which are the names of the lead characters. One is, after all, a fantasy kid flick, while the other is a supernatural horror film. However, if you take a closer look, you will see an underlying theme that, oddly enough, connects these two bizarre movies together. Matilda and Carrie are both young girls who are mistreated by their family, and both begin to exhibit telekinetic powers. Whereas Carrie adopts a horrifying and violent demeanor, employing her abilities in a more negative manner, Matilda leans more toward the playfulness of the gift, using her abilities in a more lighthearted way. In the end, Matilda finds her “happily ever after” with a new loving family, while shit hits the fan for Carrie on prom night. Under different circumstances, Matilda might have even turned into Carrie.


The Coin: Revenge is a girl's best friend.

At first glance, one is an action-packed film and the other is a dark drama comedy, but when you look at the bigger picture, these films are kinda the same. Yes, their tones differ, but they are both stylish movies about revenge that feature exhilarating twists. Also, they are both led by fiery female protagonists that are the self-assured personification of female empowerment, setting out to make things right on their terms. If you strip away the action and gore in Kill Bill and broaden the scope of its vengeance on the one who hurt The Bride most, you’re left with a riveting drama full of humor that is done in a vibrant style approaching the kind of experience Promising Young Woman offers.


The Coin: Love is a mind fuck.

You may be asking yourself, “What in the world do these completely different movies have in common?” Well, it’s simple: love and memory loss. Though they approach the subject in rather different ways, they both study the same affliction. 50 First Dates takes a more comedic approach and avoids drawing attention to some of the most agonizing parts of the illness. In Memento, the illness is shown more as an impassable barrier that a man must overcome in order to find the person who murdered his wife. However, they both provide some understanding of what it's like to have a condition like this and the different ways to cope with it.


The Coin: Love stories set against the backdrop of colonialism.

Close your eyes and picture Pocahontas…except it's the year 2154, she’s blue, and she resides on Pandora. Sound familiar? Avatar, like Pocahontas, is about an outsider soldier with the initials J.S. who has come from a distant place. This man falls in love with the natives’ culture and one of their own, the daughter of the tribe’s leader. The man also is part of the colonialists threatening the land on which the tribe lives for its resources. While one is set in 1607 and the other is set in 2154, both stories conclude in battle, with our main male character leaving his old world behind in favor of a new one. He decides to do whatever it takes to protect his new people and their land. Strangely enough, they are both Disney movies. I guess they like to recycle their stories.


The Coin: Time loops are a bitch.

Despite the two films' entirely different settings and plots, a few core concepts start to become evident between these two movies. Of course, the biggie is that they both revolve around being stuck in a time loop. Obviously, these two movies have no common ground regarding the premise of their stories, but there are several character traits shared by both main characters after dealing with the time loop. Their responses to being placed in comparable paradoxes are oddly similar, regardless of whether it is a U.S. Army officer reliving every day on the front lines of an alien war or a haughty weatherman stranded in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. During this strange phenomenon, both leads undergo some personal growth, ultimately turning out to be better individuals because of the bizarre ordeal. Oddly enough, the leading ladies in both Edge of Tomorrow and Groundhog Day are named Rita, and that can’t just be a coincidence.

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