Thursday, May 8, 2008

Harold & Kumar: Boston Marriage for Guys

"Your love was wonderful to me, passing the love of women."
--David to Jonathan, 2 Samuel, I, 26

"You're my best friend. I love you."
--Kumar to Harold, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay


After spending time with Surpassing the Love of Men, watching Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay seemed oddly relevant. If Harold and Kumar had been Victorian women, they definitely would have been "romantic friends". If that seems like a strange statement, just look at their relationship: They live together, seem to spend little time apart, bring out the possibilities in each other, and no matter what dangers they face-- everything from crazed Homeland Security officers to being carjacked by Neil Patrick Harris, they stick together through it. Even when one of them makes a horrible decision, their destinies remain intertwined. They pursue women (mostly for sex), but this never affects their friendship, as it's just one more thing they do together.


[Above: Harold and Kumar. I'll never let go!]

The "inseparable buddy characters" are an archetype that resonates with me as an A person. But where is the female version? In the trailers before Guantanamo Bay, I saw two more male buddy movies: College and The Pineapple Express. The only mainstream female buddy movie that I think I've ever seen has been Muriel's Wedding (one of my all-time favorite movies). I'm thinking of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but you don't get the idea, as you do with Harold and Kumar, that the characters will probably spend the rest of their lives together.

Why the dearth of female buddies? If there was a large market for those movies, they'd probably get made, so perhaps there isn't one. But maybe it's the way women are perceived as being dependent on men, and competitive for men. There's no reason why two female friends couldn't rely on each other to the degree that Harold and Kumar do. But this is something we're hardly ever shown, which gives an impression that there's something about women that makes this kind of friendship impossible. I'm hardly the only person to take issue with this; here's an interesting blog post that discusses the issue:
Does the Female "Buddy" Movie Exist?
And if it doesn't, then goodness gracious, shouldn't it?

10 comments:

Elaine said...

This doesn't help with the lack-of-female problem, but the most bromantic duo I can think of in film is Jay & Silent Bob. Followed closely by Randal & Dante.

Ily said...

Bromantic: Love it! Pardon my ignorance, but who are Randal & Dante?

Frances said...

Randal and Dante are the main characters of "Clerks" and "Clerks 2."

Ry said...

Don't forget Made of Honor. Where they had that until he realized he was madly in love with her and wanted to marry her. Not that I've seen the movie.

Maybe Girls With Slingshots for the girl version? Jaime and Hazel seem to be that close.
http://www.daniellecorsetto.com/gws.html As a warning, one of the characters works at a porn store and BDSM fetish club- both of which show up on more than one occasion.

Mary said...

Never seen Clerks, Ily?!
I don't know about films, but I'd submit "Sex and the City" as being about female buddies. Despite their obsession with men, the only constant in their lives is each other . . .

Anonymous said...

If you don't mind teen-aged angst, New Waterford Girl is a sort-of girl buddy movie. Wordly, big-city girl moves to a village on the east coast of Canada and befriends a very bored girl itching to get out and see the world.

Anonymous said...

Thelma and Louise?

Ily said...

Thanks for the comments, y'all! I like me some good brainstorming, so feel free to keep it coming!
I've never seen "Clerks"! I know!

Skylark said...

Bend It Like Beckham. Brilliant movie with two female leads.

Anonymous said...

How about this summer's "Sex and the City?" While in pursuit of men the real friendships and adventures were always between the four women.