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Friday, April 18, 2014

Brief Reviews of Films About Best Friends

The Sweetest Thing (2002) – This movie bombed when it came out due to a weak plot of a woman chasing a guy mixed in with gross-out gags, but the saving grace in it for me was the wonderful chemistry between Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate as best friends Christina and Courtney. The two have this banter of dirty jokes, girlie bonding, and support for one another.  You can really feel the deep history they have between them, from their in-jokes, references to past adventures (singing along to “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” from Spring Break ’94), teasing of one another about striking out with guys, wearing dirty underwear, wearing 1980s’looking dresses, and their own personal smells. The actresses worked really well off of each other, as if they had been best friends for years. The banter between the two of them is really warm, funny, and special, and is a highlight of an otherwise forgettable movie.

I Love You, Man (2009) – This movie had a good premise to it: a man realizes he doesn’t have any male friends and goes out on platonic dates to get them. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel worked so well together as Peter and Sydney, especially whenever they nerded out to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer,” bonded in the “man cave,” or talked in silly made-up words to each other, like “Totes McGotes.” The plot was relatable, as it can be hard for people to make new friends or find more friends of the same sex if they don’t feel macho or girlie enough in a general way.  Sydney helps Peter to bring out his looser side, to not feel socially awkward when he makes bad jokes or stumbles, and to feel good with a male friend without feeling like he has to change himself. This friendship is not a bromance, because that cheapens it. They do grow to love one another, but it’s not romantic or obsessive. It’s just deep best friend love.

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