[Scott is looking for interesting pairs of movies for his class. I make a 2 suggestions below.]
Since the topic of movies that paralell one another already came up in the comment thread, I would like to ask the blog for a little help: As I mentioned, I do a Compare and Contrast paper using movies in my Freshman Comp Class. I generally give them about 20 or so pairs of movies to choose from; these can range from straight up remakes (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sabrina), movies that are interpretations of a common source (Emma/Clueless, Dangerous Liasons/Cruel Intentions) or movies that are more thematically linked (High Fidelity/Annie Hall,Fatal Attraction/Swimfan and, a recent addition I'm quite proud of, American Graffiti/Superbad). I'm always looking for suggestions of new pairings to add to the list (especially in the latter, thematic category) so I was hoping you guys could help me out. It's also helpful if you can think of a recent big movie since it will: A. be easier for students to find a copy and B. It might be more familiar to them.
My friend Zack recently came up with the idea of Halloween vs No Country For Old Men which I thought was pretty brilliant and I was thinking of Juno vs Knocked Up... I was also trying to remember some horrible 80's comedy about teen pregnancy that I could pair with Juno....but I can't remember the name.
Other teachers, feel free to steal freely!
[The one I would recommend is The Breakfast Club and The Faculty. The Breakfast Club was a justifiably great movie, but the ending is seriously weak as the Goth Girl requires a makeover in order to date the Jock: this in a movie whose theme is supposed to be that anyone can get along. On a lesser, more realistic note, it is disappointing that the nerd and the cheerleader ultimately find the social order to big to get over and be friends after the movie ends. The Faculty fixes this as it takes the same high school types (Druggie, Nerd , Cheerleader, Goth Girl, Jock) also in a kind of war vs authority (the teachers are aliens) but "fixes" the ending. Note the fate of the one character who is not a member of the Breakfast Club "types."]
[One More: Adaptation and Shrek: I think it is worth comparing the use of "meta" storytelling devices to soup up a basically classical simple story.]
[And finally a pet peeve of mine: the phrase "compare and contrast" while insisted upon by English Departments everywhere, is just WRONG, as "compare" means to measure similarity AND dissimilarity. Compare and Contrast really means " show similarities, dissimilarities and dissimilarities, which is just stupid. I think it is silly that I teach my students to use a dictionary and use words precisely when the department does not.]