I won’t lie–I was kind of set aback when Justin did his Top 10 Bromances list and included pretty much half of mine in it. I tried to think of other ideas, but all the best ones were either already taken or didn’t have enough contenders to make a solid 10. So I’ll roll with it.
So many times in film we get romances, especially between male and female characters. But rarely do we get, well… just friends. And it’s always fun to see a film explore friendships (especially if it’s of the opposite sex). So this is a list that has my Top 10 favorite friendships of 2012 films (or at least of the ones I saw).
First, though, I want to an honorable mention, which is Bond and Eve (Naomie Harris) in Skyfall. I make it a runner-up because there are hints at a little more than friendship, even though it’s not really explored in this particular film. They come off as just really good friends with great chemistry, although it will eventually turn to more than that. So that’s why it’s just an honorable mention.
10) Evelyn and Graham (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Judi Dench and Tom Wilkinson are great together here, and the friendship they build is heartbreaking. I thought this film was pretty underrated this year, as it had some fantastic performances and a good story. And at the heart of that was this particular friendship.
9) Django and Schultz (Django Unchained)
I put this only in the 9th spot basically because the majority of the film treats it more as a strict partnership than a friendship, and it explores the characters more as partners than as friends. (Yes, they do friendly things for each other… but it’s mainly under the pretense of a business promise.) And I’m not saying they aren’t friends–I’m just saying the film doesn’t really explore their friendship as much as the following films.
8) Schmidt and Jenko (21 Jump Street)
Who would have thought that not only would a 21 Jump Street film be any good, especially one starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill? But to have the film be so good because Tatum and Hill were so good together? I think people would have laughed in your face if you’d said that prior to this film coming out. But it’s true. This movie is really funny, and these two guys work off each other greatly.
7) Norman and Neil (ParaNorman)
Norman is the heart, and Neil is the comedy. Neil is just hilarious and charming in the film, and he wants so hard to be best friends with Norman. It’s just so endearing that it works. And the fact Neil is the only one to ever listen to or believe Norman makes this friendship really work. It’s the core of the film, and I don’t think the movie would have been half as good without it.
6) Maya and Dan (Zero Dark Thirty)
It’s pretty much consensus that Jason Clarke was amazing in this movie, particularly at the beginning when it’s him and Maya. Their relationship builds over time through these extreme situations, and when he does eventually go elsewhere, they stay friends, and he helps her for the rest of the movie. It’s a solid friendship, and it’s one that could easily have been Hollywood-ized and turned into a pointless romantic relationship that broke apart because the stress of the situation and the work between them. But it didn’t, and they’re just good friends.
5) Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (The Avengers)
Talk about a surprise. Not only did Ruffalo kill it as Banner, but his chemistry with RDJ was so good. Their little scenes together are hilarious. It’s not really the backbone of the film or anything, but those moments are just so good they’re hard not to love. And it builds up to the epic moment when Banner (as the Hulk) saves the plummeting Iron Man from splatting against the ground at the end.
4) Ralph and Venelope (Wreck-It Ralph)
How much you like this film is pretty much based on how much you bought into their friendship. Personally, I loved where they took this friendship, how it formed, and how these characters connected with each other. Because of this friendship, I absolutely loved the movie. But I think whether or not you love the movie, you can’t deny that, as friendships go, this one is really strong.
3) Andrew, Matt, and Steve (Chronicle)
I love this movie. I love the relationship between these three guys. Their chemistry is fantastic. And, again, the film wouldn’t have worked at all if it weren’t for these guys’ great chemistry and the ups and downs of their friendship. It was all about how they bonded and eventually fell apart.
2) Dana and Marty (The Cabin in the Woods) *Spoilers*
This is another example of just great writing that could have gone poorly. Usually in these kinds of movies, if two survive, it’s always the love interests. But here, it’s just two good friends–and that friendship is definitely tested, especially in the climax. The lengths these two go to help each other followed by sudden betrayal and then forgiveness… it’s just great. And what makes it work so well are those final minutes where the two are just sitting there, smokin’ a joint, waiting for the world to end… and just chatting and being there for each other.
1) Billy, Marty, and Hans (Seven Psychopaths)
So… yeah. What else was it gonna be with me, honestly? Every fabric of this relationship is tested throughout this film. And it moves from hilarious moments to heartbreaking moments and back to hilarity. These three guys work great off each others, and their friendships really shine through.
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.