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Best Friends (1982)

When a professional couple who have lived & worked together for many years finally decide to marry, their sudden betrothal causes many unexpectedly funny and awkward difficulties. They soon... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ann Babson
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Tom Babson
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Larry Weisman
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Nellie Ballou
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Jorge Medina
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Carol Brandon
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Lyle Ballou
Mikey Martin ...
Robbie Ballou
Helen Page Camp ...
Maid
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Doria
Vincent J. Isaac ...
Cab Driver
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Storyline

When a professional couple who have lived & worked together for many years finally decide to marry, their sudden betrothal causes many unexpectedly funny and awkward difficulties. They soon find that being married is often quite different from being "best friends." Written by Ary Luiz Dalazen Jr. <ajr@fortalnet.com.br>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Marriage is a funny thing to do...if you want to stay [UK Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

17 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amigos íntimos  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's writers Barry Levinson and Valerie Curtin based the script on their very own marriage. See more »

Goofs

Goldie Hawn mentions Teresa Wright not being on the train in "Since You Went Away." It was Jennifer Jones, not Wright. See more »

Quotes

Larry Weisman: Commitment. Discipline. Make it work.
See more »

Connections

References Little Caesar (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

How Do You Keep The Music Playing?
Performed by Patti Austin and James Ingram
Music by Michel Legrand
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Produced by Johnny Mandel
Arranged by Greg Phillinganes & Johnny Mandel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
When a film simply can't pick a genre and stick with it
31 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Norman Jewison's Best Friends is a hopelessly lost film, and I think I'm going to leave it at that when it comes to trying to classify this. From the looks of the theatrical poster and DVD cover, showing a happy and carefree Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn obviously engaged in romantic playfulness, one would assume it's a romantic comedy when it's anything but romantic. One could call it a drama, but there are too many incredulous sequences and silly inclusions of comedy to adequately and properly bill it as such, and finally, simply stamping the "comedy" label on it would be pretty disingenuous as well, since the film is rarely funny. It's a film with a cynical, if considerable, idea that does nothing but spit in the face of anyone expecting any one of those three things executed on a competent level.

The film follows Richard Babson and Paula McCullen (Reynolds and Hawn), a reliable screen writing duo who have worked together for years and have churned out successful, quality screenplays for many different genres. They've also been living together, with Richard suggesting the two get married and make their relationship official, with Paula being hesitant to do so, believing marriage is the root of all failed relationships. Despite her believes, knowing how important marriage is to Richard, Paula accepts Richard's advances and the two get married without telling anyone.

Their honeymoon, however, is spent traveling to one another's parents' houses in order to inform them of the news. Paula's parents in New York get to hear first before the two fly down to Virginia to see Richard's family. The result is a groggy film with a premise that slithers by at a snail's pace so we can see the reactions of each person's family to a union we're surprised they didn't see coming in the first place. Did the parents not know that the two were living together to begin with? Did the parents not expect at least some certification of commitment between the two after years of collaborating and cohabitation?

We don't know and that's one of the many problems with Best Friends. For as much as we're allowed to see, we're not allowed to know very much about the characters and their dynamics, which makes this film a very lackluster attempt at looking at marriage and the potential flaw with having so-called "best friends" marry one another. As the two wind up becoming more and more disgruntled with one another, Paula begins to resort back to her original claims that marriage is the root of the evil, which is flawed because of the fact that she agreed to the union and didn't have to if she didn't want to. With that, the fault is not marriage in itself, it's both Richard's for pressuring Paula into marriage and Paula for not taking a stand and affirming that this isn't what she wanted.

But nonetheless, we have to hear from Paula about how their disagreements and quibbles is the fault of marriage, and over the course of one-hundred and ten minutes, watch this couple fall apart and resort to domestic harassment and violence. Where's the joy in that? For a film titled "Best Friends" with two strong actors at the helm, not to mention a poster and premise that boasts a completely different story, why is the end result so melancholic and miserable? Perhaps if the film had a direction or a more credible thesis as to why it felt that marriage was such a disparaging and flawed way to bring two people together, then maybe there would've been some value. Unfortunately, this is a mean-spirited and downtrodden work for the sake of being both miserable and down-trodden, and the end result is nearly two hours of arguments and repetitive echoes of previously disclosed sentiment, all of which you can probably find at your own family's house without the need to go to the theater or rent a film.

Starring: Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn. Directed by: Norman Jewison.


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