by: Bobby Crowley
My mother used to say, “You can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.” I’ve always lived by this rule, but it doesn’t quite seem true in a sense. We CAN pick our friends, but we have a limited pool from which to choose. I can’t Weird Science or Life Size my friends into existence. I have to deal with what I have, make the best choices out of the choices given to me. That hardly seems fair. What about all of those amazing people who don’t exist in my world, or at all for that matter?
What about characters in movies? My obsession with film has always been a major part of my life. So, it logically follows that I would comprise a list of characters from movies with which I would love to be best friends. Since there are a million characters in the history of imagination, I have comprised nine categories in which I have listed only a select handful of characters, from whom I have at one time or another desired friendship.
The Dream Seekers.
I have always enjoyed companionship with people who dream big and have the courage to fight for that dream. This means I am drawn to characters like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, who dreams of adventures and an escape from her provincial town. Not to mention, she reads, talks to inanimate objects, and falls in love with a beast. Can you say “perfect?” This also draws me to the hilarious and unconquerable Fannie Brice from Funny Girl, as well as the almost annoyingly naive and adorable Buddy from Elf.
I always admire someone who can teach me something about myself or about the world at large. A friendship which breeds knowledge and understanding is one I cherish. This, of course, means that I would love to be friends with the inspirational Professor John Keating from Dead Poets Society, the provocative Sara Deever from Sweet November, the tortured Bobby from It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and the ever sexy but slightly misogynistic Jacob Palmer from Crazy Stupid Love. Keating and I could passionately discuss Andrea Gibson while Jacob dresses me and Bobby and Sara teach me about he ways in which I see the world and the ways in which I could. What a beautiful day that would be. Of course, I might have to teach Jacob a few things about his idea of “manhood.”
Some part of me would love to have the kind of friends you can call if you need protection or a hit put out on your behalf. Perhaps this is the socially constructed aspect of my gender, looking out at the scary world and feeling incapable of conquering it alone as a woman. Maybe I just think they are hot. Either way, I would love to be in with the Boondock Saints. Irish accents and a questionable but passionate mission? I’m in.
The Eccentric and Lovable.
I might be considered an oddity, but I enjoy every second of it. Likewise, I enjoy it in my friends. The eccentric people of the world are usually some of the most entertaining. This is definitely the case with Mary Katherine Gallagher from Superstar, Lars from Lars and the Real Girl, and Benny from Benny and Joon. All genuine and loving characters, all with a knack for the unique. All the perfect fit for a friendship with me.
The Cute and Clever.
If there is one thing I cannot resist, it is a cute girl with some wit. Olive from Easy A is clever, cute, and a little sassy. She also has a wicked wardrobe that I would not mind seeing in person. On the other hand, the award for Cute and Clever-est is probably already taken by Ellen Page in anything. Literally any movie Ellen Page stars in, I am automatically attached to her character. I laugh with Juno and cry with Bliss (not the emotion, the character). She is funny, smart, and adorable to boot.
The Adorably Unhinged.
While I find eccentricity entertaining, there is nothing like a bit of mental unhinged-ness to make my day. The following are not people I would necessarily count on when the going gets tough, but they sure would make entertaining and possibly dangerous friends. Downey Jr.’s version of Sherlock Holmes, Bellatrix from Harry Potter, and Dr. Frank N. Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show all have the capabilities for greatness and insanity. A beautiful combination, if I may say so myself. However, a friendship with any of them might end in me poisoned, stupefied, or worse, dressed in lingerie and dancing on stage against my will. I would take the chance, though.
The Beautifully Bitter.
I am bitter. I enjoy my bitterness. I love to see it in others. Complete and utter joy is not for me. This basically means I would love to be friends with any bitter sort, especially the ones with experiences that justify the bitterness. Megara from Hercules, Kendra from Beastly, Rory from Rory O’Shea Was Here, Thayer from Teenage Dirtbag, and Olivia Thirlby as Stephanie in The Wackness and Tess in What Goes Up are all beautifully bitter characters I identify with or just plain love. I believe we would all be extremely happy in our bitter togetherness.
Though most people believe it is a curse to be friends with couples, it doesn’t really bother me. Especially when they are the deliciously dry Patrick and Kat from 10 Things I Hate About You or the lovably sadomasochistic E. Edward Grey and Lee Holloway from my favorite movie Secretary. If I were friends with either of these couples, I would be in double date heaven. Patrick and Kat can bring the love-cloaking bitter wit and Edward and Lee will bring the whip. Sounds good to me.
The Best Best Friends.
Of course, I cannot ignore the most important category. There are some best friends you can’t split up. There are some best friends you just want to be best friends with. This is definitely the case with Janis and Damian from Mean Girls, Peter and Sydney from I Love You, Man and Annie and Lillian from Bridesmaids. These pairs are unstoppable, hilarious, and exactly what I look for in a best friend, but double.
I would also love to be best friends with the Breakfast Club, minus the princess, the jock, and the geek. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “you can’t split them up!” But I can and I am. Bender and Allison are both perfect for me, one bitter and clever, the other quirky and eccentric. However, the other three are just too whiny or self-important to make my best friends list.
The last group of friends, however, I would never separate in a million years. The entire Empire Records store and I are meant to be best friends. I knew it the first time I watched the movie, I knew it the 175th time I watched the movie. We are meant to be and that is that. The motley crew of bitter, artistic, quirky, sexy, and twisted characters is the exact crew in which I would feel at home. Unfortunately, they are fake. Which leads me to my last “fictional” best friend.
While compiling this list of characters in films, I began to think about my real life best friend and if I could best represent her within this list. I realized that while she is a lot of these things that I hold so dear, none of them can serve as the epitome of her personality and her friendship with me. So I thought about what I loved most about her, what made her my choice, my best friend.
Though she might read this and slap me in the face, I am proud to say my best friend is Professor Severus Snape from Harry Potter. She seems like an extremely bitter person who doesn’t really like anyone. But then you discover the truth. She is driven by love. She hides it because her love is so magnificent and powerful that she has to pack it away beneath her dark Snape-y cloak. I am lucky enough to know the Lily-loving side of her and, because of this, I wouldn’t want it any other way. True, I have said that it isn’t really fair we can’t truly pick our best friends. However, to be honest, I wouldn’t pick anyone else, real or otherwise.
Bobby Crowley is a Queer woman with a love for all that is fabulous. She is currently working on her Creative Writing degree at Loyola University where she is also on the board of Advocate and a writer for the alt. magazine LUChameleon. She is in love with Andrea Gibson, her labradaniel puppies, and singing loudly in the shower.