You want a list of the greatest odd couples in cinema? Well, why didn’t you say so!
This could easily have been Hot Fuzz, but for me it doesn’t get much more bromantic than Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Edgar Wright’s RomZomCom. They laugh, they fart, they cry and obliterate zombie brains, but from the break up with Liz until the bittersweet end, Shaun & Ed are one of British cinema’s greatly treasured buddies.
The Lord of the Rings
Seeing as ‘Frodo & Sam’ has been done to death, I thought it’d be worth looking at the other bromance of the trilogy: Smeagol and Gollum. Quite literally, one never goes anywhere without the other, and in their intangible lust for the one Ring, their bromance is forged for eternity in the fiery pit of Mount Doom.
The Shawshank Redemption
Maybe it’s the golden hues, maybe it’s Tom Newman’s elegaic score or maybe it’s Morgan Freeman’s narration, but you can’t help but love The Shawshank Redemption. ‘I remember the first time I saw Andy Dufresne’, Red says, and from then on we see how the pair feed off each other. Red finds Andy’s escapism infectious. He sees hope in his eyes, in the way he says ‘Zihuatanejo’; even after he leaves does he ‘hope to see my friend’, the sign of a real bromance.
‘People are always asking me how I met Tyler Durden.’ Perhaps the most violent couple on this list, Tyler and the Narrator have a somewhat destructive relationship. Where one is apathetic, the other is cathartic, where one is meek, the other oozes confidence: they are undeniable proof that opposites attract.
I think, for me, the sign that Chewie is perhaps one of the greatest sidekick’s going in American cinema comes during some point in the third film. This was about the time that you didn’t need Han translating everything he said, you just understood. Don’t get me wrong, Han Solo is amazing and everything, but without the gargling fuzzball by his side, he really is ridin’ SOLO.
…because his name is Han Solo, and without Chewie, he’s solo. So there’s a connection, you see. Also Ridin’ Solo is a song. Well, I don’t know, if you don’t find that funny then I’m retiring.
Jules et Jim
For Jules and Jim, and even the director Francois Truffaut, it is their love for Catherine that alternately unites them and pushes them apart. When forced to fight a war on opposing sides, the pals are afraid simply to shoot in case they might hit one another. But it’s with Catherine that the two (and the film) sparkle, and it is probably that which turns Jules et Jim from a great to an unforgettable movie.
A bit like the girls on Take Me Out, Jules and Vincent don’t shut up. Only instead of saying cheesy things in a Northern accent to which Paddy McGuiness replies by repeating what they said in a Northern accent, they cover a more diverse range of topics. From foot massages, TV pilots, philosophy, Kung Fu to the Wolf, there’s really nothing that they can’t discuss with the kind of effortless cool that Sam Jackson and Travolta have never equalled.
A Single Man
Perhaps the label ‘bromance’ is incorrect here, as it is more of a literal romance between the two, but for George, Kenny Potter literally injects his life with saturated colours. Everything seems more beautiful, more like a movie than real life. And that’s what make these two something precious.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
The Chief is a quiet character, to the point where everyone assumes he’s mute. But it’s not until R.P. McMurphy joins the ward in the ‘loony bin’ that he shows his Juicy Fruit loving self. For the Chief, despite his bullyish ways, McMurphy represents that feeling he abandoned a long time since he started aimlessly sweeping the asylum floor. That is the feeling of pure freedom, and that is something that they both achieve, in their own ways.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Maybe this is the greatest film made in my lifetime, but one thing for certain is Jesse and Robert’s relationship is one of the most complex and subtle friendships depicted on screen. Just as the Narrator wants to be Tyler in Fight Club, so does Robert want to be Jesse. But at first he knows only the myth of the man, the stories told to him before he went to sleep and the same stories he then dreamt about. Yet in discovering Jesse James for himself, he realises something quite different in his character that will lead to the eponymous death. Though it is not so much Ford who kills James as it is James who, in writing his own legacy and tempting Ford in a way the Devil would envy, assassinates Ford.
More of a threesome than a conventional two way bromance, the three boys of La Haine do everything together. And by everything, I mean mostly nothing. In a clever reflection of the French flag, Vinz (Liberté), Said (Egalité) and Hubert (Fraternité) can be utterly inseperable. Thankfully, it’s not often that the three boys become more like a married couple (Said as their son) with their own quarrels and dominating personalities. Still, we love them all the same despite the film’s constantly looming threat ‘jusqu’ici tout va bien’ (so far, so good).
See a film that’s achingly missing? Post a comment!