This was originally published at The Edge SUSU on April 9th 2014.
Whether they are engaged in intense periods of bickering , partying non-stop ,facing off against great danger or just making life hell for each other, great bromances always stick together. Always. There’s something incredibly appealing about watching 2 guys who rely on one another and always have each other’s backs. Of course they can be funny, of course they can be strange, but really that’s not the only reason we like to watch great on-screen bromances. They work well in cinema because deep down we all want to have a friendship as lasting and strong as their’s. We all want to be able so in sync with another person that being apart from them starts to feel a little wrong. So here’a a list of those cinematic duos that serve as shining examples of how to be overly dependent on but also endearingly loyal to your best buddy. In the interest of keeping things varied the list won’t be comprised entirely of comedy films and will try to span multiple genres. Also humanity is not a compulsory requirement for entry.
10) Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Guy Richie’s Holmes in particular here (Sherlock would be a great fit but this a movie countdown). The old-married-couple vibe these two give off provides the comedic backbone to the film franchise, but more than that it also provides a warm, likable way to grow to care about these two characters by showing us their flaws and relate-able humanity.
Defining Moment: Holmes’ attempts to break up John’s ensuing marriage demonstrate just how much Holmes feels he needs his buddy all to himself.
9) Schmidt and Jenko, 21 Jump Street
In this surprisingly not-awful TV to film adaptation, the chemistry between Jonah Hill’s Schmidt and Channing Tatum’s Jenko is paramount. Whilst the relationship does go through some by-the-numbers buddy movie conventions (one finds new friends, the inevitable falling out), the strange dynamic between the nerdy bullied kid and the school jock is interesting. Especially when as grown men they return to school to find their roles reversed, discovering that contemporary high school is a place where understanding, tolerance and trying is cool.
Defining moment: They go to prom together.
8) John Bennett and Ted, Ted
A lovable bromance can often be centered around the fact that the two friends bring out the inner child in each other. In Seth MacFarlane’s live action directorial debut this is taken to a whole new extreme, as Mark Walberg’s John refuses to give up his childhood teddy bear/ roommate. What at first seems like just an excuse to have a family guy-esque parade of pop culture and sex jokes actually evolves beyond its “There’s a teddy bear that swears” premise into something more human… ish. As the pair struggle to come terms with the fact that one day they will eventually have to move on and grow up things become genuinely moving (but there’s always another Flash Gordon joke just around the corner to soften the blow). Also… Its a swearing Teddy bear!
Defining moment: “When you hear the sound of thunder don’t you get too scared, just grab your thunder buddy, and say these magic words…”
7) Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr, X-men, X-2, X-Men: The Last Stand and X-men First Class
It’s time for me to indulge in my fanboyish tendencies. I couldn’t go a full list without at least one Comic Book mention and in this instance the X-men franchise earns its place in the countdown. Special mention has to go to X-men First Class which places the developing relationship between two soon-to-be “frenemies” at at the heart of the story, with excellent performances between both Micheal Fassbender and James Mcavoy. The fact that this bromance seems to continue once the cameras stop rolling also helps to make this pairing particularly charming, however the first 3 X-Men films should not be overlooked. Even the films set after First Class explore the relationship, the frequent address of “old friend” is a moving reminder of the hope they still have in each other (or it’s a subtle “fuck you” disguised as a term of endearment).
Defining Moment: Any of those recurring Chess Games.
6) Frodo and Sam, The Lord Of the Rings Trilogy
Whilst at times this feels like a little bit more than a platonic bromance, the touching bond between these two hobbits standing by each other against forces more powerful than themselves provide some of the warmest moments in the trilogy. Whenever Howard Shore’s naive Hobbiton motif sneaks into the score as the two share one of those bonding moments its hard not to let out a tiny “awwww”.
Defining Moment: Sam carrying Frodo to the top of Mount Doom.
5) Donnie Azoff and Jordan Belfort, The Wolf Of Wall Street
The most recent entry on the list, the controversial (and brilliant) Wolf Of Wall Street features the bromance between Leonardo DiCaprio’s Belfort and Jonah Hill’s (making a second appearance on this list) Azoff. It’s very hard to resist the allure of the lifestyle the two lead, and as reprehensible as their actions can be at times, its very easy to want to spend all the more time with them, in the constant escalation of partying and drug fulled chaos. It’s the surprising chemistry between Hill and DiCaprio that really sells it, that and the the fact that even when they find each other at their lowest lows, they refuse to abandon each other.
Defining Moment: It’s got to be that scene with the lemons. Even if it’s during a… strained period of the friendship.
4) Mike and Sully, Monsters inc
And now to the world of Pixar, on which we can always rely for strangely human relationships among non-human characters. Of course Woody and Buzz deserves a passing mention here too but the greatest Pixar bromance has to be between college buddy’s then work mates Mike and Sully. Only Pixar could make us care so much for the friendship between two computer animated monsters.
Defining Moment: That ending, where Mike reveals the trouble he’s been through to allow Sully to see Boo once more.
3) Andy Dufrense and Red, The Shawshank Redemption
A bromance that escapes prison along with the film’s protagonists, the dependence these two come to have on each other is all the more surprising given Red’s much parodied declaration ” I must admit, I didn’t think much of Andy the first time I laid eyes on him”. Interestingly the pair’s reunion at the end of the film was not originally intended to be in the finished cut. So powerful and hopeful was their bond, that test audiences apparently felt that they needed to be assured that these two buddies would be reunited before the credits rolled and thus, the studio decided to add in an ending in which said assurance was given.
Defining moment: Drinking ice cold beer on the rooftop after a hard days work.
2) Harry and Lloyd, Dumb and Dumber
Is there anything stronger to build a friendship on than mutual stupidity? As Harry and Lloyd travel across America in their Dog-Van thing, the desire to tag along is so great, even if it would mean risking enduring the “most annoying sound in the world”. Harry and Lloyd are perfect for each other, because no one else could stand their company for so long, and there is something quite sweet-natured in that. Underneath all the pranks, competition and laxatives there’s a genuine sense of caring for one another.
Defining Moment: Being able to wear those suits and be convinced you both look good is an achievement far beyond the capabilities of most friendships. If that’s not a true bromance than I don’t know what is.
1) Shaun and Ed, Shaun of the Dead
Really any Frost-Pegg pairing could go here, however things feel at their most natural and real in the first installment of the Cornetto trilogy. The thing that makes this duo so uniquely bromantic is the way Shaun allows Ed to essentially mess up his life on a regular basis. The patience and perseverance Shaun shows is matched by the well meaning intentions of Ed who just wants his Best friend to have a good time. Despite their old married couple spats they really pull through for each other, for instance take a look at when Ed tries to cheer up his broken hearted buddy after his break-up. The fact that Ed manages to find time to make one last jab at Shaun’s sexuality before they part ways speaks volumes. The loyalty these two share is exemplified by that brilliant ending, after all, is there anything more bromantic than one of you becoming a zombie and the other still trying to get away from his girlfriend to play video games with you?
Defining Moment: Shaun: He’s not my boyfriend!
Ed: (passing Shaun a beer) It might be a bit warm the cooler’s off.
Shaun: Thanks babe