There’s an endless list of movies centred on the theme of friendship, but not all of them convey the sense of sincerity and relatability essential to making the story believable. On those rare occasions that on-screen chemistry really does portray the true nature of a strong friendship, it’s difficult not to feel a little sentimental about your own buddies. Below are some of the ‘best friend’ flicks that have stuck out over the years.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
The Oscar-winning biographical Western is famous for many things; the classic bicycle scene, the tragic ending, and - above all - the amazing chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford in their portrayal of iconic outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The smart and extremely likeable partners-in-crime have a friendship based on like-mindedness, mutual reliance and unconditional love. It’s not surprising that the duo have become symbolic of true bromance. Redford and Newman were, after all, best friends in real life. Though there was around eleven years between them, the two actors hit it off when they began filming for Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, remaining close pals ever since. “They really loved each other, and that was so great and contagious to be around”, said Sally Kirkland, who was cast alongside them in the film.
Mississippi Grind has everything you want out of a road movie, gambler flick, and tale about best friends. Reminiscent of slow 1970s road movies such as Five Easy Pieces; Mississippi Grind is understated and touching in its telling of the friendship between Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) and Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) who meet at a casino by chance. Gerry has a gambling problem and Ryan seems to have an infinite amount of good luck. After drinking together one night, Gerry convinces Curtis to lend him some cash so that the two can go on a road trip and amass money at casinos along the way. Besides excellent acting, the film is full of beautiful cinematography, thoughtful criticisms of the American Dream, and plenty of nail-biting but ultimately hilarious casino scenes.
The Bucket List
The Bucket List is one of those rare films that truly succeeds in turning a tragic topic into an uplifting and inspiring tale. Two terminal cancer patients, Edward and Carter (played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman), end up sharing a room in a hospital and discover they have a lot in common - despite their very different backgrounds. Edward is a billionaire and, after learning that Carter only has a few more months to live, takes him on an adventure through which he can tick of things from his ‘bucket list’. In the final months of their lives, the two characters build a friendship based on wanting to give each other the best possible time; but they also bond through a mutual respect and admiration for the hardships they’ve each endured throughout their lives.
The critically acclaimed and heartwarming Untouchables was nominated for an Oscar based on its retelling of a true story about an unlikely friendship between a wealthy quadriplegic and the ex-convict who becomes his new carer. At first reluctant to take on the job, the ex-convict soon realises that he enjoys his employer’s company, and the two become close friends who challenge each other’s perspectives on life. The sheer compassion and trust between the two characters will make you fall in love with this movie.
There’s a reason Pixar films are more popular amongst parents than other children’s movies - they deal with mature themes in a way both kids and adults can relate to. The studio’s first movie, and the first-ever computer-animated feature film, remains one of their most critically acclaimed; Toy Story. From the film’s opening theme, ‘You Got A Friend in Me’, it becomes clear that the film is focused on the theme of friendship. The relationship between the toys Woody and Buzz is so classic because it develops out of an initial resentment the two have for each other. But Buzz overcomes his pretentiousness, and Woody overcomes his jealousy, when they both come to realize how much they value each other's’ companionship.
Whether they make you cry or laugh, movies which tell a tale of genuine friendship in a touching and unique way are sure to stick with you long after the credits roll. Sometimes, they even prompt you to consider your own relationships in a new light.