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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Buddy Movies

Robert Manni - Saturday, August 10, 2013

Every Guy’s Guy has a best bud.

In the case of my novel, The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love, Max Hallyday, our protagonist and a guy with integrity is set against his lady-killer, roguish BFF, Roger Fox. And because summertime is all about moviesalthough summer 2013 seems to be a dismal one for movies—I humbly offer my top ten list of classic Guy’s Guy best bud films in no particular order. Drum roll, please.

The King of Comedy- In this DeNiro/Scorsese classic black comedy, Rupert Puptkin (gotta love the name) sets his sights on his comedy career breaking through after a chance encounter with the Johnny Carson-esque late night talk show host magnificently played by Jerry Lewis, of all people. The results are poignant, original, uplifting and somewhat creepy, all at the same time. When I saw the film in the movie theaters back in the 80’s the audience was not in on the joke and many were dumbfounded by this story about a comic who really isn’t funny.

I Love You Man – Jason Segel and Paul Rudd at their finest in a story about an engaged guy who does not have a male friend worthy of being his best man. With his soon-to-be wife’s encouragement, he befriends a smooth-talking slacker who teaches Rudd’s character the ropes. Twists and turns ensue, but Hollywood’s Happy Ending Police make sure that it all works out with a heart-tugging outdoor wedding finale. Regardless, it’s a damn funny film.

Midnight Run - DeNiro again flashes his comedic chops in this cross-country road trip caper about a bounty hunter who learns about love and his feelings from his prisoner, a crooked accountant played by Charles Grodin. Dennis Farina sparkles as a Chicago bad guy.

Wedding Crashers – The best thing Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson has done in the past five years, this instant classic also features Bradley Cooper as an annoying antagonist named “Sack”. What? Add Christopher Walken to the mix and you have two hours of mayhem and one-liners.  If you haven’t seen this film yetgee, I don’t know what to say except you might have something personal against fun. Just kidding.

Sideways – One of your Guys’ Guy’s all time favs. Paul Giamatti plays a struggling novelist who accompanies his womanizing best friend, Thomas Hayden Church, on a weeklong boondoggle to the wine country outside of Santa Barbara. They meet Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh and discover a lot about wine and themselves. The movie has an indie feel, but it’s pure Hollywood at its finest, and highly recommended, especially if you like pinot noir.

Easy Rider – Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper star in this dark sixties classic buddy, road trip that introduced America to the talents of Jack Nicholson.  Great theme, outstanding music, and a poignant message about the direction of our culture are rolled up in a film many consider as the ultimate buddy flick. It very well could be.

Rain Man - Let’s face it. Tom Cruise can act.  We all know about Dustin Hoffman’s Academy awarding winning role as an autistic savant, but Cruise totally nails his role as the selfish brother who ultimately learns the importance of family. A touching drama that may even bring a tear to your eye, amigo.

48 Hours – Nick Nolte meets Eddie Murphy in a ham-fisted, cops and robbers tale about a stolen suitcase full of cash. Sounds familiar, but no worries. This is a hilarious character study set in the underbelly of San Francisco. Murphy shines throughout the film and in particular in a not to be missed scene that takes place in a red neck bar.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – Many consider this one of Hollywood’s greatest all-around films. Based on the story of the real-life train robbers, there is plenty of action, great dialogue and a saucy love triangle between two men on the run and their female accomplice. The story eventually takes them to Bolivia where they meet their destiny in a classic climatic shootout.

The Hangover – This is a case of a movie tapping into the culture at precisely the right time and then more than delivering the goods in a fresh, unexpected way. The three leads have all become stars in their own right in Bradley Cooper’s unlikely breakthrough role. I almost feel sorry for the cops in Las Vegas after this film caught fire and created so many wannabe’s.

I’ve only scratched the surface with these ten male buddy flicks and it’s no wonder that being a Guy’s Guy is always accompanied by a best bud…or two…or three.

What are your favorite buddy films?

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