In his latest movie, Mark Wahlberg is best friends with a foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed cuddly bear called Ted. It’s not the first time such an oddly matched couple has made for cinematic gold. here’s six of the very best…
Buzz Lightyear and Woody - Toy Story
One’s a lanky cowboy enjoying his place at the top of the toy box food chain, the other’s a delusional space ranger who believes that falling with style is as good as flying. They really shouldn’t get along and for a while they really don’t, but when Woody is forced to atone for attempted murder and Buzz has to face the very real fact that he is a child's plaything (albeit a very cool one with a helmet that does that ‘whoosh’ thing), these chalk and cheese action figures discover they’ve got a friend in each other.
Ratso Rizzo and Joe Buck - Midnight Cowboy
Joe Buck (Jon Voight) heads to New York with a head full of dreams about becoming a Manhattan hustler only to fall foul of Ratso Rizzo’s (Dustin Hoffman) third-rate con man ways. It looks like the wannabe player with a penchant for dressing like a rodeo cowboy has hit rock bottom but an unlikely friendship with the polio-ridden grifter soon forms and they set about trying the separate the Big Apple’s glitzy socialites from their cash. A moving study of two men desperately ill-suited to their adopted environments, if the final scene doesn’t have you in floods of tears you may want to check the fluid levels in your animatronic tear ducts you heartless robot.
Andy Dufresne and Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding - The Shawshank Redemption
Despite placing a bet that he would be the first to buckle under the imposing weight of Shawshank State Penitentiary, contraband smuggler Red (Morgan Freeman) swiftly finds a firm friend in convicted double killer Andy (Tim Robbins). These fellas may come from different sides of the tracks, but Andy and Red form a life-long bond that helps the former get through some seriously disturbing stuff behind bars. It’s a buddy system that is amply rewarded when, after Red is released having served 40 years, he joins his previously escaped pal on a lovely beach down Mexico way.
Willie T. Stokes and The Kid - Bad Santa
Hard-drinking career criminal and part-time shopping mall Santa Claus, Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) is the very definition of misanthropic - even his partner-in-crime, the equally cuss-happy Christmas elf Marcus (Tony Cox) can’t stand him. Only a pudgy little fella nicknamed The Kid (Brett Kelly) seems to be able to squeeze a little humanity out of Willie, but not before he breaks into the boy’s family safe and nicks his dad’s BMW. Hardly afflicted with remorse, Willie nevertheless decides the take The Kid under his wing as he teaches him a few handy anti-bully self-defence lessons (namely a swift kick in the balls) and a few confidence-boosting tips (also mostly involving a foot to the testes).
Léon and Mathilda – Léon
Until the young Mathilda (Natalie Portman) comes on the scene, the only friend silent but violent hitman Léon (Jean Reno) had was an equally reticent but decidedly less murderous houseplant. Having reluctantly agreed to teach the 12-year-old the tricks of the ‘cleaning’ trade so that she may exact revenge on the drug-addicted cop who wiped out her entire family, Leon’s kindness is repaid with a heart-warming friendship that doesn’t require regular watering and pruning.
Wallace and Gromit - Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and others
Walace is a wide-mouthed bachelor with a penchant for crazy contraptions and knitted tanktops, Gromit is a genius-level canine with a talent for getting out of sticky situations, both love cheese, tea and, most endearingly, each other’s company. When it comes to unlikely friendships, the man and dog duo are the very epitome of a couple who just get each other. So much so that not even stop-motion romance, felonious penguins nor mutant bunnies can tear them asunder.