Do you want to honor your best friend? Romantic films are usually the focus of attention when it comes to relationships, but there’s something special about movies that honor friends. Friendship is depicted in a variety of ways on the big screen, from coming-of-age tales to workplace dramas. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite movies about friendship.
1. Léon (1994)
Even though we educate children not to accept candy from strangers, no one ever tells them about the dangers of being friends with hit men. As a 12-year-old, Mathilda (Natalie Portman, chillingly intense) is transformed by Léon’s hesitant generosity and care following the horrible death of her entire family, which he reluctantly accepts. Their strange bond grows with all the ferocity you’d expect between a master assassin and his young protégé. But as non-parent-daughter connections go, there’s no one more solid than this one.
2. Frances Ha (2012)
Frances Ha and her friend Sophie are “the same person with different hair,” says Frances Ha. The two young New Yorkers, both in their early twenties, begin the film inseparable. After that, Sophie is sucked into the tyranny of adulthood. So Frances is left to work out her profession and personal life on her own once she moves in with her banker lover. It’s incredibly relatable for anyone still trying to figure out who they are to watch the couple’s tumultuous relationship. Two buddies fall in love, and it’s a story of their relationship.
3. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
When it comes to friendship, Captain Kirk and his first officer Spock are an excellent example. The yin and yang friendship that forms the heart of the series has its ups and downs, but reaches its peak in ‘Khan.’ Only the coldest-hearted non-nerd will not shed a tear as Spock, who is dying, delivers his final farewell to Kirk in the Enterprise’s engine room.
4. 50/50 (2011)
Seth Rogen is probably not your first pick for a support system in the event of a cancer diagnosis. For Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in 50/50, Kyle (Rogen) turns out to be a hero in a medical and emotional crisis – even though Kyle does use his ball-trimmer to shave Adam’s hair following chemotherapy. The fact that this film is based on a true story gives it an extra +1 in my book. Will Reiser, the film’s writer, was diagnosed with spine cancer at the age of 25, and Rogen is friends with him in real life.
5. Stand by Me (1986)
‘Stand By Me’ couldn’t have slipped through the cracks on this list. It’s a testament to the bonds formed between childhood buddies. There is also a final paragraph that reads: ‘I never had any pals later on like I had when I was 12’. On a cross-country trip, the group of young men set out to uncover a dead body, inspired by Stephen King’s short story “The Shining.” Tears, handshakes, adventures, and tales told around the campfire are all part of the fun.
6. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Outcasts in the social arena Pedro Sánchez, a Mexican transfer student at Napoleon Dynamite’s school, has a fantastic moustache and a cool bike. Napoleon helps Pedro run for class president in exchange for Pedro giving him advice on how to approach women. What was the happiest time in their relationship? It was Napoleon, who stepped in at the last minute and performed an outstanding solo dance routine in front of the entire school to win the president for Pedro’s campaign. As a group, they are the ultimate underdogs.
7. Finding Nemo (2003)
Even though they’re more aggravating than a younger sister, we’ve all got that one friend who would risk their life to save yours. For example, assist in the search for your kidnapped son. As a fish who isn’t very social, Marlin is reminded that the aquatic world is a happier place when someone cares about you by his voyage buddy, Dory. Even if Dory brings them into the path of lapsed-vegan sharks, lethal jellyfish, and other unnecessary risk, they’re better off having her by their side.
8. Forrest Gump (1994)
The closest thing Forrest has to a meaningful friendship is with the shrimp-obsessed Benjamin Buford ‘Bubba’ Blue, played by Tom Hanks’ bumbling everyman in the film. In spite of Bubba’s untimely death in Vietnam, Forrest Gump continues his shrimpin’ tradition as founder of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. The Bubba Gump restaurant chain now exists in real life, letting you recall Forrest’s “best good friend” with a hot dish of Mama Blue’s Southern Charmed Fried Shrimp. Their bond transcends death and fiction. For the simple reason that capitalism.
9. The Four Adventures Of Reinette And Mirabelle (1987)
In Eric Rohmer’s feature-length exploration of female friendship, country girl Reinette (Jolle Miquel) moves into the Paris flat of cynical and street-smart Mirabelle (Jessica Forde). To show how far apart the girls’ worldviews truly are, some regular Rohmer colleagues take on the roles of stereotypical Parisians like a difficult server, a Metro con artist, and an opportunistic art dealer. Most films about female friendships are overly sentimental and sugary, but “Reinette and Mirabelle” takes a more nuanced approach, blending the everyday with the fantastical.
10. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
Together, Romy and Michele are “the funniest person” in the world. They’ve been best friends since high school, and they’re returning to their old haunts to prove that their lives have been worthwhile. Their self-worth is validated by showering one other with praise when the rest of the world fails to notice it. Michele and Sandy’s romance pales into insignificance compared to the comradery between our two protagonists. Even at the film’s most romantic climax, the love interest still serves as the film’s third wheel. That, my friends, is true friendship.
11. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
When Olive, a seven-year-old girl, and her sassy grandfather, Edwin, are paired together in this touching family comedy, you know you’ve found something special (Alan Arkin). He spends the majority of the film working with her to polish a dance performance for a pageant she’s competing in. Despite what the papers say, Olive’s father is the only family member who gives her the courage to be who she truly is.
12. Mean Girls (2004)
Schoolgirls and guys that hang out together Janis and Damian, two social outcasts, develop a real connection despite their differences in social standing. They aren’t the least bit sentimental, but they treat each other in a way that only a best friend can. While the Plastics’ friendship fades, Janis and Damian remain adorable in their matching and extremely horrible purple tuxedos.
13. Ghost World (2001)
“Ghost World,” Terry Zwigoff’s film adaptation of the comic book of the same name, follows two teenagers as their lives fall apart. It begins as an outsider-looking-in story, but by the end Enid and Seymour’s worldviews don’t mesh so cleanly with one another. Even while this film is full of crazy comedy, there is also a genuine picture of the silent sorrow of moving into adulthood and its impact on friendships.
14. Nine to Five (1980)
“Nine to Five” is an excellent source of inspiration if you have ever wished your workplace had a female clique. Friendship blossoms amongst three women (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton) who work for a chauvinist, ungrateful boss. Not only did they topple their commander and adopt female-friendly rules, they also stood by each other as their ideas became more daring. The Bechdel Test is clearly met in this film about a group of friends.
15. Withnail & I (1987)
When Richard E Grant and Paul McGann (two struggling actors in the 1960s) retreat to a country cottage for a vacation, the storyline of “Withnail & I” takes place. They drink their way through the miserable weather and sarcastic locals on their vacation. The genuine test of any friendship is a wet mini-break in the Lake District, not a love triangle or adventure.
16. Beaches (1988)
‘Beaches’, despite its reputation as a cheesy rom-com, is a great accompaniment to a bottle of Lambrini or a liter of gin. Even so, the tear-jerking conclusion of this cult favorite is built on a solid friend foundation. Two chalk-and-cheese youngsters meet under an Atlantic City boardwalk, and their friendship blossoms into…oh god, I’m going to cry again just thinking about it…
17. Cinema Paradiso (1998)
Salvatore (Toto) is a naughty little boy who begrudgingly wins the affection of an elderly movie projectionist, Alfredo, in a Sicilian town. Ennio Morricone’s mournful score accentuates the heartfelt link between its two protagonists, who are forced to choose between the comfort of their tiny town and the enticement of a new life in the city in this moving coming-of-age drama.
18. A Room for Romeo Brass (1999)
Shane Meadows’s beautiful, prickly, and occasionally disturbing coming-of-age novel examines how much stress and strain a friendship can survive. While Romeo and Knock Knock are best friends, Morell (Paddy Considine), an antisocial weirdo, invades their peaceful suburban existence. Things may get “pretty fuckin’ dark” in this tragic, immensely gratifying tiny masterwork, but family and friends are a constant source of light.
19. Superbad (2007)
It is, in fact, the film in which the two protagonists dispute over whether or not to bring lubrication to a party. For those who have made it through their late teen years, the relationship between Seth (Jonah Hill), Evan (Michael Cera), and their strained friendship is relatable. They declare their love for each other in the last scenes, before pretending it never occurred in typical boy fashion.
20. Bridesmaids (2011)
‘Bridesmaids’ is one of the rare films that accurately portrays the dynamics of female friendship groupings. Bridesmaids (Kristin Wiig and Rose Byrne) prepare for their friend’s wedding in the movie. In the vein of an American Pie sequel, there’s more punching and pooing in this script than you’ll find in a typical Whatsapp group. Aside from all that, it portrays the triumph of women overcoming their jealousy to become best friends. Aw!