Frances Ha + Bridget Jones’s Diary

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Double feature: When “Frances Ha” came out, many reviewers hung their claims for its distinction on the fact that its heroine was a young woman, and yet its narrative had essentially nothing to do with that young woman’s love life. Presumably, this separated it from the pile of marriage-plot driven romantic comedies with women in the lead, a pile in which “Bridget Jones’s Diary” stands honorably near the top.

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A New Leaf + The Lady Eve

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Double feature: These two films are essentially mirror images of each other. Their plots are the same – a worldly schemer attempts a romantic con on a wealthy but naive amateur biologist; a series of witty, swanky hijinks ensue. But in “A New Leaf” the “mark” is female, whereas “The Lady Eve” reverses the gender assignment –and that makes all the difference.

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Designing Women + The Golden Girls

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Double feature: The easy parallel between these two series is the quartet of shared archetypes leading up their respective casts.  In both “The Golden Girls” and “Designing Women,” you’ll find: the sweet one (Rose, Charlene;) the brainy one (Dorothy, Julia;) the sexy one (Blanche, Suzanne;) and the quirky one (Sophia, Mary Jo.)   Also, but less to the point, a semi-emasculated male drifting in and out of the frame (Stanley, Anthony.)

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My Cousin Vinny + My Blue Heaven

Double feature: The surface similarities between “My Cousin Vinny” and “My Blue Heaven” are easy to spot: both feature Italian-American stereotypes unleashed upon prototypically white-bread milieus, for broad comic effect.  Both entangle their protagonists – sartorially inclined toward flashy suits, tonsorially favoring glossy pompadours, romantically susceptible to compact spitfires – with local authorities, setting the stage for convoluted but ultimately triumphant hijinks.

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