'The Roommate:' 'Single White Female's' Sister

PHOTO Minka Kelly, left, and Leighton Meester star in Screen Gems thriller The Roommate.
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If "The Roommate" looks like something you've seen before, that's probably because you have.

The past weekend's No. 1 movie -- a thriller about a young woman who cares just a little bit too much about her cohabiter -- harkens back to a 1992 thriller about a young woman who also cares just a little bit too much about her cohabiter: "Single White Female."

It's hard to blame "Roommate" stars Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester for wanting to follow in the path of their predecessors, Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Soon after it debuted at No. 2 in theaters, "Single White Female" became a cult classic and inspired a slew of parodies and references. (Accusing cast mates of "SWF" tendencies is a favorite insult of Bravo's many "Real Housewives.")

Below, a breakdown of some of the similarities and differences between the '90s cultural touchstone and its twenty-first century sister. Also worth considering: the creepy coincidence of the names of the actress who play the stalkers: Jennifer Jason Leighton Meester.

Deja vu: She's not who she says she is. In "The Roommate," Rebecca (Meester) initially bills herself as a fun-loving party girl. Sara (Kelly) later discovers she's friendless and in need of medication. The dichotomy between roommate and reality is more obvious in "Single White Female" -- Fonda's Allie ultimately unmasks Leigh's Hedy as a woman with a completely different name: Ellen Besch.

Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester in "The Roommate."

Something new: A younger damsel in distress. Kelly and Meester's characters meet as roommates during their freshman year of college; Leigh's character moved into Fonda's New York City apartment during the young professional stage of life. "Roommate" viewers get the benefit of skimpier college co-ed outfits.

Deja vu: There's a blue-tinged nightclub outing prior to a scene where things get ugly. Blue lighting apparently flips the switch in stalkers.

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bridget Fonda in "Single White Female."

Something new: In "The Roommate," stilettos are employed for killer looks rather than killing. (Leigh's character memorably uses a high heel to murder Allie's ex-finace, Sam.)

Deja vu: There's a shower scene. Of course, this is par for the course for pretty much every thriller made after "Psycho."

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