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

Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly's new movie mimics the '90s cult classic.

ByABC News
February 8, 2011, 1:52 AM

Feb. 8, 2011 — -- 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.