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7 Crucial Differences Between 'Friends With Benefits' and 'No Strings Attached'

By:
Jul 22, 2011 | 7:12am EDT

Enough already with this nonsense about Friends With Benefits being the exact same movie as No Strings Attached. Yes, both films happen to be R-rated romantic comedies about attractive twentysomethings who attempt to maintain a sex-only relationship, only to face complications when feelings start to intrude — but that's where the similarities end. Don’t believe me? Here are seven crucial areas in which these polar-opposite films differ:

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Female Lead

No Strings Attached stars Natalie Portman, who won an Oscar for her performance in Black Swan, while Friends With Benefits stars Mila Kunis, who didn’t win an Oscar for her performance in Black Swan.

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Male Lead

Friends With Benefits stars Justin Timberlake, a popular sex symbol with minimal acting experience, while No Strings Attached stars Ashton Kutcher, a popular sex symbol with minimal acting talent.

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The Arrangement

In Friends With Benefits, the parties pledge to keep matters physical before they do the deed; in No Strings Attached, the pact isn't made till after sex has been had.

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Token Gay Friend

In No Strings Attached, the Token Gay Friend, played by Guy Branum, is bald and stereotypically effeminate. In Friends With Benefits, the Token Gay Friend, played by Woody Harrelson, is balding and aggressively masculine (but still unquestionably gay).

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Embarrassing Parent

In No Strings Attached, Kutcher is burdened by a self-centered, overly sexual, hippie-ish father, played by Kevin Kline. In Friends With Benefits, Kunis is burdened by a self-centered, overly sexual, hippie-ish mother, played by Patricia Clarkson.

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Setting

No Strings Attached takes place in Los Angeles; Friends With Benefits takes place in New York and Los Angeles.

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Tone

The tone of No Strings Attached is that of a standard rom-com, punctuated with soft-R raunch. Friends With Benefits boasts an aura of transgressiveness ... before devolving into a standard rom-com, punctuated with soft-R raunch.

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Comedic Style

No Strings Attached relies primarily on situational humor, supplemented with clever dialogue; Friends With Benefits relies primarily on clever dialogue, supplemented with situational humor.

There you have it. You can suss the differences yourself this weekend, when Friends With Benefits opens in theaters nationwide.

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