11 Classic Movies That Celebrate Friendship

Aug 5, 2013

Screenshot: Now and Then

August 5 is Friendship Day, and what better way to celebrate than to invite your bestie over and curl up on the couch with any of these classic buddy tales. From children to adults, pets to toys and even the occasional alien – get inspired by the following friendships that bloom on the big screen.

1. BEACHES (1988)
This moving film tells the story of the life-long friendship between CC Bloom and Hilary Whitney (played by Bette Middler and Barbara Hershey), a child performer and rich kid duo who keep in touch via letters until they end up living together in New York in their 20s. Through heartbreak and arguments, good times and family dramas, recording deals and a law practice, these two strong women show that friendship really can last forever.

2. E.T. (1982)
When it comes to human-and-alien friendship, it doesn't get any better than this Steven Spielberg classic. A meek and alienated little boy finds a stranded extraterrestrial, along with the courage to defy the authorities and help the alien return to its home planet. Always worth rewatching.

3. MY GIRL (1991)
In this coming-of-age comedy, we follow best friends Vada and Thomas as they learn about love and loss. They stick with each other despite being teased by the "cool kids," family dramas and medical scares, and various other highs and lows. Make sure you have some tissues at hand for this one.

4. NOW AND THEN (1995)
Though Roberta, Teeny, Samantha and Chrissy have been busy growing up, they always remembered the promise they made to be there for each other - to be "best friends for life." Now decades later, they come together again to relive the greatest summer of their lives. A chick flick through and through.

5. FREE WILLY (1993)
In another unconventional friendship movie, a troubled young boy called Jesse befriends an Orca whale at a marina. The boy and the beast develop a strong bond, with Jesse teaching Willy some tricks, something his trainer hasn't been able to pull off. But when Willy fails to perform for the audience, the marina owner hatches a dangerous plan, and the boy and his friends must try to free Willy.

6. STAND BY ME (1986)
This one will make you laugh and cry: Four young friends set out on an adventure, looking for the missing body of a local teenager - found by a gang of older boys. A story of boys being boys - hanging out and growing up.

7. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
They may not be the most conventional friends, but the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion are possibly the big screen's most memorable buddies. In this charming film which needs no introduction, Dorothy (played by Judy Garland) and her dog Toto are caught in a tornado's path and somehow end up in the magical Land of Oz. Even the trailer is a classic!

8. BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM (2002)
A comedy about bending the rules to reach your goal, this movie explores the world of women's soccer, along with a solid friendship between two very different girls, and a whole lot of family fun. We love the light-hearted focus on diversity.

9. CLUELESS (1995)
In this cult classic parody of Jane Austen's novel Emma, high school student Cher (played by 90s star Alicia Silverstone) uses her wit, charm and intelligence to deal with relationships, friends, family, school and the all-important teenage social life. Cher is always determined to help her friends – well worth celebrating.

10. TOY STORY (1995)
This children's movie - which adults love too - is filled with friendships: Andy and his toys, Woody and Buzz, and the rest of the toy box. Though tense at the beginning of the movie, Woody and Buzz must learn to work together if they want to stay with their owner – inspiring and fun all in one. Listen out for voices by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. 

11. MARLEY & ME (2008)
In this beautiful story of animal-human friendship, newspaper writers John and Jennifer Grogan (played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) get to know and love Marley – the impulsive Labrador Retriever. As their family grows, so does the bond with this loveable pet. This movie is a must for anyone with a dog of their own.

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