Thirty-one years after Bill and Ted first went on their Excellent Adventure, and 29 years after that Bogus Journey, the OG slacker dudes are back in a third instalment, Bill and Ted Face the Music (released in August). The bandmates (Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter) have travelled through time, performed on Mars, and vibed over ’80s counterculture. They’ve peaced out with the Grim Reaper too. And yet, Face the Music has new adventures. The two men are still best buds but they’re now middle-aged, the band’s struggling, their marriages are unravelling. This time, their daughters help them unite the world. It’s just one of the ways in which the buddy movie has changed. Take a look
Last year’s surprise hit, Booksmart, dropped cliché campus concerns like getting laid (and getting competitive about it). Instead the geeky girls decide to break all the rules and party on the last night before graduation. Here, the friendship between Molly and Amy is the real love story. The girls are each other’s cheerleaders, telling each other, “You take my breath away” or “You have no right to be so beautiful”.
Buddies, a dad and a daughter
The Nice Guys was filmed in 2016 but has a ’70s feel. Our bumbling buddies are goon Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), and a down-on-his-luck private eye, Holland March (Ryan Gosling), investigating the suspicious suicide of a porn star. They start out as foes, then team up to solve the mystery. But not before they deliver the laughs. Gosling, a single dad, is a weeper and worrier. Unusually for a crime caper, his teen daughter Holly also gets roped into the adventure – doing her best to save daddy from the bad guys.
Losers take it all
In The Other Guys (2010), disgraced detectives Allen Gamble (Will Ferell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) stumble upon a financial scam – a rare chance to abandon desk duty and become top dogs. Both buddies are uncool. Ever wondered what life is like for the cops always clapping in the background? Well, now you can take a look.
Women cops get a piece of the action
Action comedy The Heat (2013) features Sandra Bullock as an uptight Fed raised in foster homes and Melissa McCarthy as a tough-talking Boston cop. Naturally they grudgingly join forces to try to bring down a mobster. This is a buddy film that segues into a sisterhood film. Sparks fly, so do savage putdowns, before they move on to a grudging respect for each other and, eventually, friendship. The film ends with McCarthy having signed the back of Bullock’s yearbook, “Foster kid, now you have a sister”.
Frenemies go back to school
21 Jump Street, the 2012 film based on the popular 1987 series that launched Johnny Depp, gets Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) to go undercover as high-school students to investigate a campus drug ring. But the two cops weren’t friends in school. Worse, one has all the smarts and failed the physical at the police academy, the other is all brawn and little brain. The two renegotiate their own relationship as they uncover who’s cooking up a crazy new pill.