Movie Week: A friend to the end (like it or not)

Ah the buddy movie, a time-honored Hollywood tradition where you take two people with opposite ways of doing things and throw them together for the greater good (of the movie). For a minute there, they were putting out a new buddy movie every month (all with Wilson Brothers) but the point is, some of these work – some don't. The formula for the good contemporary buddy movie includes the following: 1) Reluctant chemistry between the buddies, they may not like each other but they need each other 2) action sequences – if nothing blows up, no one gets shot at, no one is getting chased or running from someone that's a chick flick 3) comedy – there have to be some moments of pure laugh-out-loud funny for a buddy movie to work and 4) likeability – one of the buddies can be surly but one has to be likeable enough for us to root for.

Now sometimes known as the "Bro-mance" genre, there have been so many through the years, it's hard to name just five, but here are a few that I like:

48 Hours: Eddie Murphy as smart-mouthed small-time hood Reggie Hammond and Nick Nolte as aging cranky white cop defined the buddy movie in 1983 (wow that was a minute ago). The pair team up to catch a killer who just happens to be looking for some ill-gotten gains that Reggie wants as well. Barfights, chase scenes, witty one-lines and Eddie Murphy in a cowboy hat equaled box-office good.

Lethal Weapon: The next evolution of the buddy movie. Mel Gibson (before he lost his mind) and Danny Glover (back when he was fine) team up and Los Angeles cops. One is young and brash, the other is dreaming of retirement but they team up to fight against the über-villain played by Gary Busey (before he went off the rails). Tons of violence, things blowing up and Mel Gibson whipping all sorts of ass makes for a classic that stands the test of time.

Uptown Saturday Night: Old school buddy movie. Granted, not the best plot in the world but it was a must-see in the BougieFam household. Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier sneak out to an after-hours spot and wind up getting robbed. The problem comes when they figure out that there was a winning lottery ticket in one of the wallets and the hijinks begin when they go undercover to get their stuff back. Also with Harry Belafonte. Two more "Uptown" movies followed: Let's Do It Again and A Piece of the Action but the original remains the best. Word on the street is that Will Smith and Denzel Washington are in talks to star in the remake.

Stir Crazy: Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor are New York dudes who come out to Cali to seek their fortune. They get accused of robbing a bank which is how they end up "in stir" (prison). Directed by Sidney Poitier, the most hilarious scenes in this movie involve Rich and Gene trying to stay alive in the California Penal System. Truthfully, the movie only works because of the comedic brilliance of Wilder and Pryor and the chemistry they create together on screen.

Thelma & Louise: Yes indeed – it's the chick buddy movie. Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis star in this film about a good road trip gone really, really bad. People call this a chick flick but it fits every criteria for a buddy movie. Supporting staff includes Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen and Brad Pitt. What gets hyped more than anything is the sensationalistic ending but the beauty of this film is the journey and what they learn along the way.

Throwback Pick: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Most Slept on Buddy Movie of All Time: Running Scared (the old school version with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines)

Fails: Fled, Tango and Cash, Anything with DMX or Ja Rule as the street smart buddy.

[pause for the 'pay the bills' cause: All of the movies and listed in this post are available at the OneChele Amazon Store]

So whatcha got, BougieLand? Name what you feel are the best (and worst) buddy movies of all time.