Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 FAVORITES (51) - Bromantic Movies

There's nothing quite like it.  The closeness, the communication, the care for each other, all of which describe elements of the ever-popular Bromance.  What is a Bromance?  A Bromance is a friendship between two men who are not related by blood.  Though most fictional Bromances have certain homo-erotic undertones (especially some of the more recent examples), the relationship is most frequently not sexual (so Brokeback Mountain doesn't count folks!).  There have been many really good examples of Bromances in film, on television and in literature.  Most of the best ones have come from film.  But what exactly are the best ones from film?  That is what this week's 10 FAVORITES is all about.


Bud Abbott & Lou Costello
from The Abbott & Costello Movies
No one can forget their classic "Who's on First?" routine (below).  They are the ultimate in a classic Vaudeville Comedy Duo.  The reason they are eked out of the Top 10 is because their influence in film is equally as strong as their influence in television.

Jay & Silent Bob (Jason Mewes & Kevin Smith)
from Clerks, Clerks 2, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
They have been close since their very beginnings.  They even refer to each other as "hetero life mates" (though Jay really does all the talking!).  They were originally meant to be incidental characters in Kevin Smith's indie hit Clerks, but the response to them was so popular that Smith brought them back for his other films (and then created a film centered around them!).

Sherlock Holmes & Dr. John Watson (Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law)
from Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's brilliantly written characters of Sherlock and Watson have been played on film and television by several people (most notably by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce on film in the 1940s and by Jeremy Brett and Nigel Hardwicke on television in the 1980s).  But in Guy Ritchie's stylish adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes characters, the chemistry between Academy Award nominees Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law makes the two films as enjoyable as they are.

Shrek & Donkey (Mike Myers & Eddie Murphy)
from The Shrek Movies
The brilliance of the first Shrek film lies in the characters of Shrek and Donkey and how well they are performed by their voice actors, Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy.  Donkey attaches himself to Shrek, much to Shrek's chagrin, and their relationship is the driving force of the adventure (and, more importantly, the humor!) of the animated great.

Max Bialystock & Leo Bloom (Zero Mostel & Gene Wilder)
from The Producers
Timid accountant Leo Bloom is taken under the wing of the brash, over-the-top Broadway producer Max Bialystock.  With that, Mel Brooks' Oscar-winning musical-comedy romp has gone down in history as one of the funniest films of all-time.  The chemistry between Tony-winner Zero Mostel and then-newcomer Gene Wilder made the film soar with comedic delight.

Woody & Buzz Lightyear (Tom Hanks & Tim Allen)
from The Toy Story Movies
Since I mentioned Shrek, I cannot go without mentioning the animated friendship that has certainly inspired the last decade.  After three films (and a charming and catchy tune by Randy Newman!), the lovable Sheriff and Space Ranger have certainly proved to children (and adults!) that friendship can overcome anything.

Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy
from The Laurel & Hardy Movies
When it comes to classic Comedy Duos, these are among the first names that come to mind.  The stout Oliver Hardy and the slim and dim-witted Stan Laurel were a perfect team.  They made every film they were in a laugh riot for audiences.

Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (Paul Newman & Robert Redford)
from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
When Brokeback Mountain was first released, many people joked that it was "the new Butch & Sundance!"  Well, the joke obviously comes from somewhere.  George Roy Hill's hilarious and touching 1969 film about the famed western duo has always been a favorite of many film buffs.  Mostly due to the chemistry between Robert Redford and the late Paul Newman, both good actors separately but together bring the film to a whole new level.  The two reunited about 4 years later (with director George Roy Hill!) on the Oscar-winning Depression Era classic The Sting.

Bob Hope & Bing Crosby
from The Road to... Movies
Like Laurel & Hardy, Hope & Crosby are another team that gets named with the best Comedy Duos.  And because their chemistry was primarily in films (save for a few TV variety specials in the 1960s and 1970s!), their influence in movies is that much stronger.  Their Road to... Movies are the perfect examples of the best "roadtrip" movies in film history.

Joe & Jerry/Josephine & Daphne (Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon)
from Some Like  It Hot
I've talked about my love for this movie.  Nothing unites a friendship more than being on the run and hiding from the mob (we see it later in films like the hilarious Nuns on the Run and the less-hilarious Connie and Carla).  While Marilyn Monroe may have been this film's biggest box office draw, the drive of this film is the chemistry between Tony Curtis and the brilliant Jack Lemmon.  Though Lemmon had chemistry with everyone.  His work with Walter Matthau (in films like Neil Simon's delightful The Odd Couple or the beloved Grumpy Old Men) has been hailed and was almost worthy of this list!

Martin Riggs & Roger Murtaugh (Mel Gibson & Danny Glover)
from The Lethal Weapon Movies
When it comes to movie Bromances, nothing holds a candle to Riggs and Murtaugh.  Let's face it, these movies have come to define a whole generation (and a whole genre!).  The "buddy cop" genre would be nowhere without characters like Martin Riggs, renegade cop whose wife's death brought him very close to suicide; or Roger Murtaugh, the by-the-book cop who is so close to retirement is always "getting too old for this sh--!"  Together, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover showed us that two different guys could partner up and get the job done.  They are the ultimate movie Bromance!

On another note: Congratulations to this year's Oscar nominees!  Within the month, I shall post my predictions for the major awards.

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