No Strings Attached hit theaters first, on Jan. 21, after changing its name from—you guessed it—Friends with Benefits. Kunis’ Friends with Benefits arrived in July. And though the latter had to deal with the optics of being an imitator of the earlier, it actually won at the box office, taking in $1.2 million more than No Strings Attached when all was said and done.
At the time, Kunis defended her film’s existence in the shadow of Kutcher’s, telling The Arizona Republic, “A lot of romantic comedies or comedies in general, they have the same idea. It doesn’t mean that you get from A to Z the same way. I don’t feel like our movies are at all similar whatsoever…It’s just two different movies. There’s only, however Shakespeare put it, so many stories you can tell in the world. This is just one of the many.”
More importantly, she would later admit to a bit of life imitating art. During a 2018 appearance on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Kunis said, “I did a movie called Friends With Benefits. He did a movie that was very similar called No Strings Attached. We lived our movies out. We were just like, let’s just hook up. Let’s have fun. We’re both single. We both trust each other. Everything’s great.”
With Kutcher separated from then-wife Demi Moore in late 2011, he and Kunis—clearly neither holding any sort of grudge over their competing films—began dating in early 2012 and were engaged by February 2014. Daughter Wyatt Isabelle arrived that October. Kutcher and Kunis were married in July 2015, with son Dimitri Portwood arriving the following year. Talk about a true Hollywood happy ending.