I have recently been thinking about friendships with the opposite sex and how, especially in my hometown, some people think it is impossible for men and women to be friends. Best friends. I am lucky enough to be able to say that I have many good male friends who I love just as much as my female friends. One of my oldest friends, Martin, and I have heard it a thousand times:
So, since when are you guys together? Are you together yet? When will you guys marry? Finally come to your senses and adhere to a bullshit standard no one understands is still perpetuated?
Okay, that last question we have never been asked but people might as well tell the truth. Besides being increeedibly obnoxious, rude and just stupid, these questions are so old-fashioned and blatanly offensive. Tradition is nice and all, but marriage, children, starting a family is not THE outcome for Adam and Eve.
Living in a very rural part of Austria in a small village, the reaction to saying, “No, we’re just friends”, is like I recited the funniest part of their favorite cabaret. Mostly, they laugh it off and don’t take it seriously, that smile and look on their face projecting they think they know better and one day we will turn around and finally decide they were right all along. Also, why do I have to say “We’re JUST friends”. Friendship is never “just” something. Most of the time, it is everything to me and my friends are equal to my family. That’s why I get so frustrated when these words come out of my mouth like I’m on autopilot just to shut them up. A lot of people probably don’t know what I’m talking about but trust me, this is still a thing. But enough hating on people, I think it’s time for some positivity. Listing my favorite opposite-sex friendships in movies or on TV might do the trick. Here’s my little appreciation post for awesome boys and girls sharing the magically wonderful gift of friendship:
Harry & Hermione (Harry Potter franchise)
These two are probably the best example on this list and their friendship is just as magical as all the spells and charms they’re surrounded with. They’ve overcome puberty, bullying, loneliness and the one and only Tom Riddle. Through all that they stuck together no matter what, growing up together, becoming the bestest of friends. And yes, I know, J.K. thought about these two getting together but in the end she chose differently. This just shows that friendship is just as deep and important as a “romantic” relationship because the set-up over the course of 6 books didn’t matter for the actual outcome.
Kate & the boys (A Knight’s Tale)
This movie gets a lot of crap but I proudly admit it is one of my favorites. Definitely would put it in the “guilty pleasure” category, though. But this doesn’t make the friendship between the badass blacksmith Kate and her male companions less amazing. She holds her ground and is the voice of reason, shutting up anyone who says a woman can’t do the same with iron as a man. William & Co also stick up for her and when they have to put a poem together, it becomes clear that all of them are comfortable enough with each other to share their most intimate feelings.
Judy Hopps & Nick Wilde (Zootopia)
Zootopia is an incredible movie and definitely has become one of my all-time favorites. Judy and Nick are lovable, funny and just great friends. Hilarious teasing and the typical “we-got-stuck-in-this-situation-together” humor transforms into supporting each other and forming a sincere friendship. Together they solve a nationwide crisis and begin to love each other’s assets, as well as weaknesses. This is how a buddy cop comedy is done right!
Diana & Tom (The 4400)
Let’s remain within the cop/agent realm for a bit. The NTAC agents Diana Skouris and Tom Baldwin are the perfect team and the agency’s most valuable assets. To each other, they are best friends and constantly looking out for the other. There’s never even a nudge towards the possibility of a romantic relationship and I really did enjoy that while watching the show. Most noteworthy is their incredible loyalty and readiness to protect not just each other but also each other’s families.
Misty & Scarfe (Luke Cage)
And the last government-related friendship I’ll mention: Detectives Mercedes Knight and Rafael Scarfe. I’ll just ignore how their friendship ended; their dynamic was one of the most refreshing and entertaining things I have ever seen in a TV show. The way they openly talked about one-night stands, childhood traumas and personal hardships was equally funny and heartwarming. I do appreciate some good gender role defiance and just general smack talk.
Pam & Eric (True Blood)
Granted, their very first encounter was somewhat sexual BUT the vast majority of the show, they are the reckless and dangerous mentor-student-pair everyone loves and fears. Infinite loyalty and attitude are as much part of this friendship as sassy dialogue and heartfelt moments. Even when Eric pushes Pam away, she tries to save him and their relationship despite having to put up with humans in order to do so. Plus, Eric trusts Pam with his hair so his faith in their friendship has to be strong.
Bulma & Goku (Dragon Ball)
Or SON Goku as he is called in the German version which has always irritated me. This pair, however, is not irritating in the least (not to the audience but to each other…sure, sometimes) and sensational at the most. Bulma is a lively firecracker and smarter than Cumberbatch, balancing out Goku’s sweet naivité and groundedness. Finding the dragonballs and fighting off enemies is how they spent their free-time and it’s equally hilarious and sweet.
I think it’s a shame that platonic friendships are not as often integral to a movie or TV show in the way a romantic love story always gets the spotlight. Men and women are not predestined to only ever form romantic relationships. Too often, we see this expectation or even demand of female-male friends to instantly fall in love and start a family on screen and in real life. Opposite-sex friendships are 100% certified radical and I wouldn’t want to miss them. What are your favorite female-male BFFs?