Today: April 17, 2024

In cinema and, indeed, our own lives, there are always those people who’ll forever be our steadfast friends. Love or hate them (and we sometimes do) they’re there when we need them most, but have a horrible habit of cropping up when we don’t. With Ted currently bothering Mark Wahlberg, Filmjuice takes a look at the best of cinematic friends, both real and imaginary.

In cinema and, indeed, our own lives, there are
always those people who’ll forever be our steadfast friends. Love or hate them (and we sometimes do)
they’re there when we need them most, but have a horrible habit of cropping up
when we don’t. With Harvey getting a long awaited Blu-ray release, Filmjuice takes a look at the best of cinematic
friends, both real and imaginary.

E.T.
Everyone should
have an E.T. He can heal your
wounds, make your bike fly and generally teach you things about life you
previously didn’t know or understand.
Of course he also comes from a different planet, meaning pesky
government types are always going to be on your case. What makes E.T. so heart-meltingly wonderful for his human
buddy Elliot is that the two are intrinsically connected. By the end of the movie, that’s
literally true, but there’s more than a spooky psychic connection to their
relationship. Elliot is a middle child from a broken family. E.T. is an
abandoned alien in a strange world.
Together they heal each other and, in doing so, become a force to be
reckoned with.
Defining Friendship Moment:
Having drunk a little too much hooch, E.T.
accidentally allows his hormones to get the better of him and guides Elliot to
kiss the girl of his dreams – latter day Baywatch
babe, Erika Eleniak. That’s what friends should do.

Drop Dead Fred
One of the
lesser-known palls on the list is Drop Dead Fred – the imaginary friend of Fast Times At Ridgemont High star Phoebe Cates. As kids, Fred and Cates’ Lizzie were inseparable. But as she grew up, her domineering
mother extracted Fred from Lizzie’s mind.
Thankfully, as with all good friends, Fred is there for Lizzie when she
needs him most in adult life. Like
Ted, Fred, played with gleeful mischief by The
Young Ones’ Rik Mayall
, is a ball of foul-mouthed mayhem. At first he’s nothing more than an
unwanted presence in Lizzie’s life, but he soon begins to inject a bit of fun
and enjoyment.
Defining Friendship Moment:
When the chips are down, Fred coaxes
Lizzie into a dream where he manipulates all the burdens in Lizzie’s life to
help her escape them. The cost he pays is higher than anything she goes
through.

Tyler Durden – Fight Club
Yes, he might
edit naughty bits into kids’ films, do unspeakable things to clam chowder and
blow-up buildings in the name of mayhem but, without Tyler, Ed Norton’s character in Fight Club would be nothing more than
an Ikea whore come cooperate stooge.
Durden, played with casual swagger by Brad Pitt, is the quintessential Id to Norton’s Ego. A man who does
what he wants, whenever he wants and, in doing so, enables Norton’s character
to blossom. Okay, so in the
process he beats him up, blows up his apartment and temporarily steals his
girl, but it’s all in the name of personal growth you understand.

Defining Friendship Moment: Having
had his apartment blown to kingdom come, Norton goes for a beer with Tyler in
an attempt to build up the courage to ask for a place to stay. But before he can, Tyler looks at him
over a pitcher of beer and says “Just ask man”. He then allows Norton to hit him in the ear out in the
parking lot. Take that Butch &
Sundance.



Harvey
If you were going
to forgive anyone for having an imaginary friend it was always going to be Jimmy Stewart. Even more so when you realise that his
friend is a giant rabbit known as Harvey.
In another actor’s hands, Harvey could have been an overly sentimental
affair, but Stewart brings such innocent charm to the role that we never need
to see Harvey to believe he’s there.
Everyone else might think that Stewart’s Elwood P. Dowd is losing his
mind, but we could all do with a Harvey in our life, to help us weather the
storms.
Defining Friendship Moment:
To aid another patient’s recovery, Elwood
offers Harvey’s services only for Harvey to return to his friend later with the
iconic comment from Elwood: “Well, thank you Harvey! I prefer you too”. True
friendship doesn’t need physical form.

Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion – The Wizard Of Oz
Bit of a three
for the price of one here as Dorothy, trapped in the land of Oz, makes her way
to find the Wonderful Wizard and stumbles into just the kind of friends you
need to guide you through a world occupied by witches and flying monkeys. For all her own courage, she relies on
Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion to give her something familiar; a sense of home in
an otherwise haunting place. As
separate entities they are lacking but, like The Fantastic Four, X-Men or the irritating kids from Captain
Planet, when they’re together they’re unstoppable. It might be the ruby
slippers which eventually get Dorothy home, but make no mistake, it’s
Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man who guide her every step of the way.
Defining Moment Of Friendship:
Discovering how to get back home, Dorothy
bids a fond farewell to her cherished companions.

Frank The Rabbit – Donnie Dark
Another giant
rabbit you scream! But Frank
couldn’t be further removed from Harvey. For starters, he looks considerably
more formidable. As Jake Gyllenhaal’s troubled Donnie tries to navigate high school,
first love and a pedophilic Patrick
Swazye
, Frank is there to guide him through his time bending ups and
downs. And you just know, if Frank
was Christmas shopping for Donnie he’d have bought him his much-craved Hungry
Hungry Hippos as any good Apocalypse-announcing friend should.
Defining Friendship Moment:
Appearing
behind a time-field, Frank informs Donnie the exact time remaining until the
world’s end. If that isn’t a loyal
friend then what is?

Elvis – True Romance
What better
friend to have if you’re a comic obsessed geek spending your birthday alone,
than The King himself? While Christian
Slater’s
Clarence may find true love in the form of Patricia Arquette’s Alabama, it’s Elvis who helps in him in times
of trouble. Played with gusto and
subtle brilliance by Val Kilmer,
this Elvis is something of a bathroom buddy, a confidence-inspiring guru there
to tell Clarence what’s really going down.
Defining Friendship Moment:
On the brink of pulling off a massive drug
deal, Clarence goes to the bathroom to find some confidence. There, Elvis sits, casually guiding
Clarence and telling him what to do.
The final kicker “I like you Clarence, always have, always will”. Knowing a friend has your back can make
all the difference.



Ferris Bueller – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
While Matthew’s Broderick’s Ferris is the main man of this film (hence the title) he
proves to be something of a pretty solid best friend to Alan Ruck’s Cameron.
Yes, he might steal Cameron’s father’s precious Ferrari, he might drag
the sick and “dying” Cameron from his bed, but he does it with the best of
intentions. He wants to show
Cameron a good time. Hell he doesn’t even get upset when Cameron sneaks a peak
at his girl, Sloane. How many
friends do you have that have crashed a parade just to sing Twist & Shout
for you?
Defining Friendship Moment:
With
the Ferrari, lying broken and destroyed at the bottom of a ravine, Ferris
offers to take the rap. But what
he doesn’t realise is that Ferris has taught Cameron how to stand up for
himself. The familiar smile tells
you all you need to know about how Cameron has been forever changed by his
buddy.

Captain Howdy – The Exorcist
Ahh sweet
innocent young Regan MacNeil. Butter
wouldn’t melt in that apple pie rosy-cheeked sprog. That is, until she starts telling her mother about Captain
Howdy. Yes, Captain Howdy at first
seems to be an imaginary friend, whispering naughty secrets in Regan’s ear and
generally being her only friend outside her over protective mother. That begins to change once Captain
Howdy refuses to communicate with Regan’s mother, Chris. Before long Captain Howdy is uttering
words through Regan that you pray your Gran never hears. Of course by the end of the film Captain
Howdy has helped Regan find religion.
We’ll let you chose whether that’s a good or bad thing.
Defining Friendship Mother
: In the midst of a typical teenage
tantrum, Captain Howdy adds to the destruction of poor Regan by throwing
records, chairs and chests around the room. He even manages to slam dear old mummy against the
wall. Well, what’s a little
violence between friends? It’s therapeutic. Just ask Tyler Durden.

Chris Chambers – Stand By Me (Main Picture)
“I never had any
friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” The heartbreaking end to Stand By Me
sums up everything about this list.
The characters in Stand By Me might bicker, fight and be generally mean
to each other but it doesn’t stop them displaying real friendship. None of them epitomize this more than River Phoenix’s Chris Chambers. He’s the ringleader, the alpha male but
he’s never arrogant. He’s a kid
who wears his heart on his sleeve and, as a best friend, he’s there for Geordie
in ways his family never have been.
Sure, he might be a rebel, have stolen the milk money and get Geordie
into gun crime, but he’s a rock on which this young group of friends always
turn to in a crisis.
Defining Friendship Moment:
With Geordie bearing his heart about his
father’s resentment that it was his brother and not he who died in a car crash,
Chris doesn’t offer answers he simply says, “He doesn’t know you”. The arm around the shoulder is the real
clincher.

Harvey is available to buy on DVD from Monday 10th September. Order your copy HERE

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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