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VULTURE DROPPINGS OF THE WEEK: Movies About Mistaken Identity

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In Robert Altman‘s 1992 satire The Player, a movie executive, played by Tim Robbins, says to a writer acquaintance who attended the same screening of the classic Italian neorealist film, The Bicycle Thief, “Great movie, huh? So refreshing to see something like this after all these… cop movies and, you know, things we do. Maybe we’ll do a remake of this!” In Hollywood, formula is king, especially when a big budget and major stars are involved. Date Night is the latest big budget release to use the age old plot device of mistaken identity. It was already a well traveled dramatic path when Shakespeare made it one of the themes of his play Twelfth Night and after countless uses (and misuses) of the plot device, it’s become the cinematic equivalent of cheese whiz.

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Oscar(1989)

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The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag (1992)

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Houseguest (1995)

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While You Were Sleeping (1994)

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Two Much (1995)

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Jade (1995)

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The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996)

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The Beautician and the Beast (1996)

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The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

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Connie and Carla (2003)

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Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2005)

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