The best female buddies on film and TV

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It seems like every couple
of years or so, someone will release another one of those lists: You
know, the ones that talk about the greatest on-screen partnerships and
duos. There will be a top ten: Hepburn and Tracy will be mentioned,
as will Bogart and Bacall. In the realm of (allegedly) non-romantic
pairings, there will be Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy
and the Sundance Kid, and maybe Laurel and Hardy, or the guys from
Lethal Weapon
. What there reliably never will be is any female-female
buddy relationships.

Well, I think that’s nonsense
— so without any further ado, here is a list of my favorite (allegedly)
non-romantic female partnerships on film and television:

Dorothy (Jane Russell) and
Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
(1953)

The ’50s showgirls of this
classic film travel together, trade banter, stick up for each other
in the face of outsiders, and even walk up the aisle together at the
end in matching wedding dresses. Sadly, they weren’t actually marrying
each other — even though the picture does make it look like it.

Kate/Offred (Natasha Richardson)
and Moira (Elizabeth McGovern), The Handmaid’s Tale (1990)

Trapped in the dystopian future
imagined by Margaret Atwood’s novel, in this film adaptation Kate gets
strength, courage, and some much-needed humor from her rebellious lesbian
friend Moira.

Thelma (Geena Davis) and
Louise (Susan Sarandon), Thelma and Louise (1991)

In this iconic reworking of
the traditional road movie, the waitress-and-housewife-turned-stickup-artists
became so close that by the end, as Sarandon has said, "they were
finishing each others’ sentences."

Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and
Edina (Jennifer Saunders), Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2005)

The Bolly-drinking, pill-popping,
square-daughter-enraging socialites from the cult British sitcom were
apparently unable to function without each other. Admittedly, they were
sometimes just plain unable to function.

Cybill (Cybill Shepherd)
and Maryann (Christine Baranski), Cybill (1995–98)

No divorced fortysomethings
ever had as much fun as Cybill and Maryann did in Shepherd’s semi-autobiographical
LA-based sitcom. Whether pondering life’s important questions ("Who
would you rather sleep with? Ross Perot or one of those devil monkeys
from The Wizard of Oz?"), climbing up on an advertising
billboard to paint curves on a young, emaciated model, or making travel
plans ("Cybill, let’s go to Mexico and get our butts tattooed!"),
these were the two women who made you believe that, together, they really
could do anything.

The Women of
Sex and the City (1998–2004)

Mr. Big said it best when he
told Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte: "You’re the loves of [Carrie]‘s
life, and a guy would be lucky to come in fourth." The rock-solid
friendship of the quartet was the foundation on which this show was
built.

Missy (Eliza Dushku) and
Torrance (Kirsten Dunst), Bring It On
(2000)

This popular teen film got
much of its spark from the chemistry between perky blonde cheerleader
Torrance and sarcastic, Goth, ambiguously gay Missy. Whether battling
homophobic teammates, stolen routines, or dangerously insane
dance teachers, the two stuck together and fought it out.

Lana (Bridget Neval) and
Sky (Stephanie McIntosh), Neighbours (2004–05)

The first gay character on the long-running Australian soap,
teenage newcomer Lana discovered a soulmate in straight series regular
Sky. Their friendship survived Lana’s early crush, Sky’s sexual confusion,
and homophobic pressures from outsiders, and they emerged as platonic
BFFs who took each other to the prom.

Who are your favorite on-screen
female buddies? Let me know in the comments.

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