The dynamics of a group of friends change over time. Sometimes, that changes the friend too. But other times, it’s a character development that’s essential; you have to be able to deal with new people and new ideas as they arise. There are plenty of examples of these friendships that end in tragedy, but some also end on an optimistic note. These kinds of movies make you think because often, the only way to learn how to be friends again is by going back to the basics.
Movies About Friendship
1. Thelma & Louise
Thelma and Louise. There’s a reason this movie is one of the best-known portraits of friendship, and it’s because it’s such a truthful portrayal of two women’s friendship and the challenges they faced. The first half of the movie is about the friends’ childhood, and the second half is more about them as adults, with the film ending on a hopeful note. Roger Ebert called this movie “one of the all-time great American screen epigrams.”
2. The Intouchables
This adaptation of Andre Agassi’s memoir is another movie about a friendship that’s tested by the passage of time. The movie is set in France, but the language barrier and the characters’ unique way of life make it feel more like New York. The movie is funny but also sad, as the friendship between Omar and Felix, the owners of an exotic car dealership, is tested when a series of unfortunate events cause Felix to be deported. It’s a beautiful representation of two people’s friendship.
3. The Perks of being a Wallflower
This coming-of-age movie follows two friends as they navigate high school and the dating scene. Sam (Shaun McCambridge) and Patrick (Adam Brody) are both dealing with anxiety and depression, and the movie guides us through their journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. This is a sweet, cuddly movie with a powerful message about being yourself and having friends for the ones you love.
4. 25th Hour
This thriller is set in New York, but the friendship between the characters feels incredibly universal. The movie follows a group of friends on the night of the 2004 presidential election as they try to solve a mystery related to a missing campaign button and a suspicious package. It’s a thrilling movie with a cast of fascinating characters, and it’s also got a great message: that friendship is what makes life worth living.
5. A Simple Life
This biopic follows the life of the author and socialite Jeanette Worden, who is known for her books It’s a Wonderful Life, and This is My Life. Anne Hathaway is brilliant as the famous author, and the movie is a deeply emotional portrait of a woman who devoted her life to helping others. This movie is simple in its storytelling, with a clear message: friendship is what makes life worth living.
6. Big Fish
Big Fish is a classic in American movies. This movie is about a 16-year-old boy on a fishing trip to Central America with his dad and a group of friends. The group consists of two girls and four boys, and they bond over their common interest in fishing and their shared struggle to fit in. The movie is very realistic in its depiction of life in a small town, and the friendships among the characters are one of the film’s highlights.
This mockumentary follows a group of friends who form a brotherhood in the wake of a friend’s death. The movie is based on the story of four friends from a New York City high school, Avi, Danny, Eddie, and Ricky, who meet on the cusp of adulthood and form a brotherhood to protect one another from the world. Avi, in particular, is a remarkable young man, and his friendship with his friends is one of the film’s joys. This is a powerful and moving movie about friendship.
8. Gran Torino
Directed by Walter Salles, Gran Torino is a story about friendship, second chances, and redemption. It’s a classic story about two unlikely friends who are on opposite sides of the law in old-time America. They form an unlikely bond, taking on the criminal underworld together. This is a movie about friendship and coming of age.
There’s no set formula for making a good movie about friendship. Some movies will focus more on romance, while others will put more emphasis on friendship. Some will be more character-driven, while others will let the action take over. Whatever form the movie takes, it’s important to note that friendships are frequently depicted in the film as a source of strength. When done well, friendships are uplifting and inspiring. When done poorly, they can be very painful or even damaging.