5 of the Best Groups of Friends in Comedies
With The World’s End coming out this weekend, I thought it’d be a great time to catch up on the best friends groups in comedies. Edgar Wright’s newest film follows a group of five friends as they try to finish a legendary pub crawl. This list also fits in well with the rest of the so-called “Cornetto Trilogy” that includes Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Finally, with the previous release of This is the End and the upcoming release of Anchorman 2, friends groups in comedies seem to be a theme this year.
1) As the title implies, it needs to be a comedy. This rules out films like The Wizard of Oz and Stand by Me, both of which could arguably be considered comedies.
2) It must be a substantial group. Substantial = four or more main characters. Sorry The Hangover franchise (which I only count as three because Doug isn’t much of a character).
3) The friends must be a cohesive unit, meaning they aren’t fake (Mean Girls) or brought together for a situation (Bridesmaids and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)
Alright now I can get started:
Nostalgic movies are a big part of this list – I’ll just put that out here now. Although I omitted The Little Rascals (awwww) and The Mighty Ducks franchise, I just couldn’t resist The Sandlot. It’s definitely one of the best baseball movies, but it also has a great group of wannabe-ballplayers. This group includes Smalls (Tom Guiry), Ham (Patrick Renna), Squints (Chauncey Leopardi), Yeah-Yeah (Marty York), and, of course, Benny the Jet (Mike Vitar). These friends not only band together to play baseball, but they plot to help Scotty get his autographed ball back from The Beast – the terrifying neighborhood dog. Who else could get that signed Babe Ruth (Baby Ruthy!?) ball back?
Surprisingly, this is the only “raunchy comedy” on my list (I don’t actually think this movie is very raunchy, though). When I first started brainstorming for my list, I thought it’d be full of them (see the honorable mentions). However, I started to realize I wouldn’t want a lot of these groups as my actual friends. Therefore, they went down a peg or two. Anchorman, although close to breaking one of the rules (#3), still fits really well. The rapport is there and the four main characters of the “news team” (played by Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner) provide the heartiest laughs on the entire list. The only reason they’re down at number four is because they ignore their leader (Ron Burgundy) for part of the film.
I legitimately feel bad that Ghostbusters is on this list without being #1. And while it’s almost as nostalgic as it gets, two more still get the nod over this classic. It almost didn’t fit the bill since there were initially just three “ghostbusters,” but thankfully Winston (Ernie Hudson) joined the other three (played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis). The 1984 supernatural comedy is in the pantheon of classic comedy films and definitely deserves a nod for best friend groups with the various shenanigans.
Releasing one year later, The Goonies narrowly beats out Ghostbusters. It has a following of its own, but it arguably uses group dynamics just a little more to achieve the goal. The “Goonies” consist of eight different characters, but the most notable members are Mikey (Sean Astin), Mouth (Corey Feldman), Data (Ke Huy Quan), and, obviously, Chunk (Jeff Cohen). With a story by Steven Spielberg himself, The Goonies is both a fun story and an awesome friend ensemble.
I never said the friends had to be humans…just for this reason. Although you could make all sorts of arguments against the Toy Story movies, I think there isn’t a better group of friends/misfits/toys that better embody this subject. Throughout all three movies, the toys are there for each other when it matters. There are the usual friendship dynamics, like jealously, love, and etc., but they always have each others’ back no matter the circumstance. If you are part of this group, there is no doubt you’re in good company!
Besides all the movies in the “Rules” section and The Sandlot, I wanted to plug American Pie, Old School, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, and I Love You, Man as honorable mentions.
What did I miss? Let me know below.
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