August 15 has been set aside to celebrate that special friendship between besties and BFFs all around the world. Unless you have already celebrated it back in June. A battle is brewing between the official dates of Best Friends Day, but most web sites devoted to offbeat celebrations concur that the official commemoration of all things wonderful that can happen between two people in a platonic relationship occurs near the end of summer rather than the beginning. So get your number one pal, blend yourselves some milkshakes and sit down to watch these movies about everlasting friendship. Or, in some cases, friendships that are so much everlasting.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
William Goldman won an Oscar for writing the screenplay for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and even those who criticize the script must agree that it provides one of the best examples of how a long and close friendship creates a communication shorthand between best friends. The repulsive mid-August heat that is part of Best Friends Day creates the perfect excuse for staying inside and watching the special chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford that captures Goldman’s lightning in a bottle. You would swear the actors comfortably trading half-spoken thoughts instantly understood by the other were as close as the subjects they portray.
Han Solo and Chewbacca
You just know deep in your heart that Han and Leia will never be close as Han and Chewie. A Freudian analysis of the relationship between Han and Chewie would indicate that Han’s desire for Leia is mere sublimation to get around the otherworldly inter-species taboo that prevents the space pirate and his Bigfootesque friend from taking things to the next level. Talk about secret communication! Han Solo may have somehow become an expert on Wookiee language, but most of the time during the “Star Wars” original trilogy these close-knit friends from difference species seem more like twins who share a secret language.
Rick Blaine and Capt. Louis Renault
If I were ever asked to write a sequel to “Casablanca” I would do away with the romantic triangle and focus on what happens between Rick and Louis following what is the most iconic closing line in best friend movie history: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Perhaps no other movie is a better choice for celebrating Best Friends Day from the perspective of showing how two characters become bosom buddies.
And then there’s the unfortunate case of what happens when somebody loses their best friend. Ranked at number 56 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 most memorable movie quotes is Norman Bates’ assertion that “a boy’s best friend is his mother.” “Psycho” is on one level and examination of what happens when the special bond between best friends is torn asunder. Save this one for late night viewing on Best Friends Day.
The Last Picture Show
“The Last Picture Show” is good choice to watch on Best Friends Day as a reminder that even the bestest of buddies can drift apart. The town in which “The Last Picture Show” takes place is so small that you would think there is some kind of built-in protection against this kind of thing happening. As if often the case in such things, a member of the opposite sex is the catalyst that drives the wedge.