‘Writers Choice’ is a monthly segment. Each month a theme will be chosen and the contributors asked to choose a film to mini-review based around said theme. This months theme is ‘friendship’.
Simon. Nick. Edgar… Pegg, Frost and Wright… Thank you. You have epitomised British humour and given joy to this harsh uncompromising world.
With police comedy being my favourite genre, Hot Fuzz and I were fated to get along. It is a film I would count as a favourite due to its unrelenting ability to make me belly laugh. Shaun Of The Dead has zombies. (Need I say more?) The World’s End is the perfect finale to the Cornetto trilogy, including countless now-signature gags, themes and remarks on grimy English culture. All are effortlessly assembled and include a perfect balance of glorious action and silly jokes. SO. MUCH. LOVE.
Pegg and Frost’s relationship is always a pleasure to watch/stalk. They each have so much charisma and it’s wonderous to see two pals so loved up. Just a click away is images and images of the pair and trio (including the amazing long-locked director Edgar Wright) hugging. They have provided the world with unapologetic geekiness, man love and truthfully satirised English culture. So thank you. –Zoe Brennan
Jucy is an adorable little indie from Australia that I stumbled upon Netflix one night. And it is an utter delight! Two friends, Jackie and Lucy are so close that they have their own couple hybrid name, Jucy. They are in their early twenties but are still essentially stuck in high school–still working at the video store without having moved forward in their lives. Eventually others’ harsh judgment of their close relationship and stagnant place in life causes them to try and do something more. One of them gets a boyfriend. One tries to move up in their career. I loved Jucy because it was SO accurate to female friendships in general, but especially one of mine. I seriously felt like it was my best friend and I on screen. We were super close in high school and college just like Jackie and Lucy. Many other people could be a bit judgmental of our close relationship as well. Jucy also deals with poignant topics such as depression, and what it means to help a friend out with that. That was also very relatable for me. Jucy is a fantastic representation of female friendship. Sometimes changes can be hard when you and your best friend seem to be a little too close for comfort. But no matter what a true friendship can stand the tests of those growing pains and changes. And sometimes you do have to grow apart a bit to be the best people you can be together. Jucy is an underrated gem about friendship highly worth seeing. –Caroline Madden
Susanna Fogel’s Life Partners is the story of Paige (Gillian Jacobs) and Sasha (Leighton Meester); their friendship so strong that they seem to be made for each other. Paige has a successful career as a lawyer, whereas Sasha is working as a receptionist to fund her musical pursuits. It’s a formula that is tried and true, drawing comparisons to the dynamic between Rebecca and Enid of Ghost World . An even similar theme is presented in Frances Ha with Frances and Sophie’s friendship, right down to the complications presented in friendships like these when a serious love interest is thrown into the mix. As Paige becomes attached to Tim (Adam Brody), she starts to act more and more like an adult, and their bond begins to weaken just like the one between Frances and Sophie. Life Partners has also drawn comparisons to Bridesmaids, adding Kristen Wiig’s character, Annie, to the list of women who feel like they’re
losing their best friend to adulthood. But what separates Life Partners from these films is that it touches on ideas rarely presented. Sasha is a lesbian, but her feelings towards her best friend are never anything other than platonic. A story like this one is usually split into two by the film industry I can think of a handful of films about female friendships, and another handful about lesbian relationships, but it’s annoyingly uncommon to see these things interwoven. However, despite all of this, Life Partners may be an original story, but it’s not because of Sasha’s sexuality. It’s original because all stories about women are original, and one film exploring an intense female friendship just isn’t enough. Life Partners deals with some pretty important themes but all in a comedic format; it’s the perfect lighthearted, but equally heartwarming, story of friends. –Georgia Berry
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is an unsung gem of 90’s teen comedy. With the odd ball credentials that you expect from Lisa Kudrow as Michele Weinberger and Mira Sorvino’s hilariously monotone Romy White- its no surprise that this unassuming comedy about two hopeless 20 somethings has achieved some-what cult status. Living in L.A, wearing the cutest 90’s clothes (mini skirts and platform heels to the gym anyone?!), and representing the quintessential friendship goals of any teenage girl, David Mirkin’s silver screen directorial debut not only captures what it is to have a best friend and magnifies this under a fantastically silly script, but is also a time capsule to everything we loved (or hated) about the 1990’s. After finding out about a 10 year high school reunion from their old classmate, chain smoking Heather Mooney, Romy and Michele (after a classic *lets get our lives together* montage sequence) create an elaborate lie about their lives in order to impress their former peers and Romy’s eternal high school crush Billy Christianson. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is in no way meant to be a high brow comedy (this is a film that demands not to be taken seriously), however if your arsenal of Mean Girls quotes is wearing thin and you need more hysterically deadpan sayings in your life, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion will have you asking everywhere you go if they ‘have some sort of business woman special’ or proclaiming ‘lets fold scarfs!’. And with a sequel forever in the talks (lets all pretend that god awful direct to television prequel doesn’t exist), rather than arguing with your best friend about which one of you is the Mary and which is the Rhoda, you’ll be fighting over who gets to be the Michele and who’s the Romy as you contemporary dance up a storm. -Molly Bennett
One of the most essential aspects, by far, of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is its fellowship. It is an unlikely team, compiled of a combination of hobbits, elves, humans and dwarfs; all of which come together to explore the importance of support during unimaginable times. My favourite of these relationships, however, was always the one that formed between Frodo Baggins, the ‘chosen’ one, and Samwise Gamgee; both of whom have never truly ventured beyond the edges of the Shire. On his journey to Mordor, Frodo risks much and, as a result, loses more than anyone should but, come hell or orcs, Sam refuses to leave his side, so much so that he is ready and willing to follow him to the literal ends of the Earth, even when Frodo is unbearable. Why is it that the ‘chosen’ one always acts like something of a dick, from time to time? Is it a prophecy thing? Just think about it. Anakin Skywalker was once the ‘chosen’ one. And look what happened to him. In the case of Frodo, Sam decides to guide his friend despite his worrying attachment to that damn ring. Their unwavering friendship is a reminder to us that, no matter how difficult the road may seem, there will always be people to surround us with belief; a belief that will allow us to conquer the worst of tasks, whether they involve destroying an ancient motif in a fiery pit of molten lava or completing the essay that our final grades rely on. Sam’s willingness to give Frodo all the help that he can muster, regardless of the circumstances, is what makes ‘The Lord of the Rings’ so relatable, as it suggests to us what is needed the most in the face of peril. –Hannah Ryan
Everyone has friendships that drifts. They’re ones that don’t quite fall apart but slump – and before you know it you haven’t seen each other in months. Yet when you do see each other it’s like a fire sparks back into full flame and is roaring, because nothing can extinguish the bond between you. And so, we have the basic premise of 2011 smash, The Muppets. Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang had gone their separate ways since The Muppet Show ended, but when die hard Muppets fan Walter (inexplicably also a Muppet), and his owners (?) and best friends (?) Gary and Mary tell the now reclusive Kermit that the Muppet Theatre is to be sold off, he realises that the gang must get back together. Cue montage.
The old friends are thrilled to be back together – and the audience is undoubtedly glad to see their favourite ambiguous animal friends back on the big screen too, as this was the first Muppets theatrical release since 1999. It’s a classic formula, the rag tag bunch of misfits who end up forming a family, but there’s no question that it’s a loveable one. The Muppets love each other, and going by Fozzie’s post-Muppet Show career in The Moopets, they need each other. They form a home in the space they share with each other (as told through song, Starship classic, ‘We Built This City’) and they happily invite Walter into it when he realises he was a Muppet all along. They play the music, they light the lights and put on a show. Their friendship is the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppet-tational. –Ashley Woodvine
Withnail & I is a film about two out-of-work actors living in squalor in late 1960s London who take a holiday to the countryside courtesy of Withnail’s Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) when they can no longer stand their rotting flat. However, the countryside they arrive at is equally grim as the pair slum it through a week of damp and hunger. “I” (Paul McGann) drearily narrates his venture with eccentric alcoholic roommate, Withnail (Richard E. Grant).
Granted, Withnail and I are not the most harmonious friends and, for the most part at least, they do not seem to like each other one bit. Despite their incessant bickering they stick it out together all in the name of what is essentially an unsuccessful detox. I believe that to be a necessity in friendship; to be able to be in a wretched state, pissed off and both at your most terrible, but to persevere and hate it together.
The film is SO funny and SO miserable and should be much more widely viewed. The two must confront crazy drug dealers, homophobic thugs, bulls, flamboyant Uncle Monty, having to kill their own tea and the many other threats present both rurally and in London. I once saw a drinking game which proposed the participant drank as Withnail does, but if you’re going to give it ago pLEASE exclude lighter fluid.
Anyone who lives in the UK has probably had at least one horrible trip to the countryside and can share the boys’ misfortune. It’s a perfectly glum, hilarious illustration of friendship in unfriendly places. –Joanna Mason