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Top 10 Extraordinary Friendships in films

22 September 2009

Emotionally soaring drama "The Soloist",  about the redemptive power of music hits cinemas nationwide from Friday 25th September.

Journalist Steve Lopez (Oscar® nominee Robert Downey Jr.) discovers Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (Oscar® winner Jamie Foxx), a former classical music prodigy, playing his violin on the streets of L.A.  As Lopez endeavors to help the homeless man find his way back, a unique friendship is formed, one that transforms both their lives. 

Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers had a truly extraordinary relationship that changed both their lives forever. Through this insightful feature we take a look back at other famous movies that inspired some of the all time grate movie friendships.



10. Lost in Translation

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In Sophia Coppola's Oscar-winning existential comedy-drama, bored twenty-something graduate Charlotte (Johansson) bonds with middle-aged television actor Bob (Murray) at a Tokyo hotel. Inexplicably connected by their intense sense of alienation, a cool distaste for carpet samples and their relative inability to communicate with the Japanese natives, their union is a meaningful but ultimately transitory one...

  • Friendship highlight: Charlotte and Bob enjoy an impromptu karaoke session, featuring an ear-bleeding version of the Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen.
  • Friendship lowlight: Those maddeningly-vague words whispered at the end. Say what?!

9. About a Boy

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Hugh Grant becomes the unwitting foster pal of a troubled teen in this charming Nick Hornby novel adaptation. Lazy-and-selfish Will Freeman (Grant) lives off royalties from his father's famous Christmas jingle and picks up women by gate-crashing single parent groups. That is until Marcus, an eccentric 12-year-old with a bowl haircut, enters his life... Featuring a winning turn from the brilliant Toni Collette as Marcus's suicidal Mum, About a Boy is a remarkably bittersweet treat.

  • Friendship highlight: Thanks to Will's musical influence, Marcus manages to impress a teenage Goth girl with his penchant for hardcore rap.
  • Friendship lowlight: When Marcus accidentally kills a park duck with a stale piece of bread, Will attempts to sink the body with stones.

8. State of Play

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Released on DVD and Blu-ray this week, State of Play sees whiskey swilling traditional grumpy hack Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) forced to team up with Rachel McAdams' Della Fry - a blogger not much older than Cal's ancient computer.  Despite mutual distrust, several assignation attempts (not on each other) and some questionable decisions by old Cal, eventually the lure of Rachel McAdams big blue eyes is too much to resist and they finally reach a middle ground - somewhere around Windows 98.

  • Friendship highlight: Cal takes some time off from investigative journalism to design Della a fetching yet functional piece of jewellery.
  • Friendship lowlight: Miss Fry is understandably upset to be shot at while ‘babysitting' a witness so Cal can investigate a lead.*

*have dinner with a lady friend.


7. As Good As It Gets

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Grumpy, blunt, misanthropic homophobe Melvin (Jack Nicholson) grudgingly befriends his neighbor, gay artist Simon (Greg Kinnear), when he becomes the victim of a homophobic attack. In return for caring for his small, furry dog, sensitive Simon attempts to help his new pal Melvin win the affections of Carol, a single mother and waitress played by Helen Hunt.

  • Friendship highlight: SIMON: I love you. MELVIN: I'll tell you, buddy, I'd be the luckiest guy alive if that did it for me.
  • Friendship lowlight: Melvin calls Simon's friend Cuba Gooding Jnr. ‘colored' and throws his dog down a garbage chute.

 6. Boys on the Side

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Box Office darlings Whoopi Goldberg and Drew Barrymore join mousey Mary-Louise Parker in this tragic sisterhood road-trip movie with romantic undertones. Although never achieving the mainstream success of Thelma and Louise it did boast one of the most baffling ‘odd couple' set-ups in cinematic history: uptight real estate seller Robin (Parker) needs a cross-country ride to escape New York after unknowingly contracting HIV from a barman; unfortunately, the only person who responds to her advert is wayward lesbian musician Jane (Goldberg), who develops a crush on the dying woman.

  • Friendship highlight: Jane and Robin attempt to stop Holly (Barrymore) from leaving the state of Pittsburgh (after accidentally killing her abusive ex-boyfriend) by writing MORTE in lipstick on a car window: "It's French!" squeals Mary-Louise Parker. "You can't just write ‘he's dead'!"
  • Friendship lowlight: Jane serenades Robin with "You Got It" on the piano during the last stages of the virus.
  5. Sideways

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ivorced, unpublished depressive Miles goes on a wine-tasting tour with his gregarious soon-to-be-married friend Jack, who is intent on sowing some last, wild oats whilst Miles schedules several weeks of relaxing, fine cuisine and golf. How these two characters ever became friends in the first place in somewhat improbable, Jack being a feckless, impulsive, uncultured lothario and Miles a neurotic, pretentious, self-loathing introvert. Still, they help each other through a tangle of mid-life crises on the last-chance trip that almost breaks their brotherly bond.

  • Friendship highlight: Their boozy double date on night number one.
  • Friendship lowlight: Jack rams Miles' car into a tree to explain his broken nose to his fiancée (it was actually broken by holiday romance Sandra Oh, when she discovers that Jack is due to marry).
4. Leon

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A contracted killer and a lonely little girl played by Natalie Portman? Yes, really. When 12-year-old Mathilda's entire family are murdered by corrupt DEA agents, she seeks sanctuary with her neighbor Leon, a hitman ‘cleaner' who teaches her the tricks of his trade. Soon enough Mathilda longs to become a ‘cleaner' too, to avenge the death of her younger brother.

  • Friendship highlight: Mathilda teaches Leon how to read and write in exchange for lessons on busting down doors and using grenades.
  • Friendship lowlight: Following Leon's death, Mathilda plants his leafy ‘best friend' in the grounds of her school to "give it roots". Sad times.


  3. Fight Club

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A listless, unnamed insomniac played by Ed Norton befriends brassy soap salesman Tyler Durden at the lowest point of his life. A discussion on the subject of materialism quickly leads to heated fisticuffs, which the protagonist finds strangely cathartic. Hence the titular ‘Fight Club' is formed. Still, nonsensical, immoral Tyler continues to grate on the nerves, particularly when he starts sleeping with the mad, morbid, therapy-addicted Marla Singer...

  • Friendship highlight: As the famous front-men of Project Mayhem, Ed and Tyler Durden become the heroes of urban underdogs everywhere.
  • Friendship lowlight: After learning that Tyler is merely a projection of his own fractured subconscious, Ed pops him in the back of the head with a revolver.
  2. Let The Right One In

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There are few friendships more unlikely than that between meek, frequently-bullied 12-year-old Swede Oscar and a bloodthirsty little vampire named Eli who lives with a pedophile, and yet, this strange pair find comfort and solace in puzzles and Morse code messaging.

  • Friendship highlight: The pre-teen lovers share a tentative first kiss, shortly after Oscar has rescued Eli from a revenge-mad mortal.
  • Friendship lowlight: When Oscar suggests performing a ‘blood bond', Eli almost savages her new pal. Not the best way to cement your friendship with a vampire.
  1. The Soloist

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Newspaper columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jnr.) discovers a schizophrenic musical prodigy playing violin on the streets of Los Angeles one day. He begins to write often about this man, Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), in his weekly column, becoming inspired and eventually obsessed by his mysterious gifts and his colourful, checkered history.

  • Friendship highlight: Lopez brings homeless Ayers a gift of a cello. Impressive.
  • Friendship lowlight: With the good-intention of encouraging Ayers to perform in front of a crowd again, Lopez pushes his new friend over the edge, sparking a mental breakdown.

The Soloist is released on the 25th September

  For more information please visit the official website: