As much as we love a good romantic movie, it's always rewarding to see films that celebrate the beauty (and complexity) of platonic friendships. Whether it's a tight-knit group of BFFs who embark on a wild trip to New Orleans or a pair of rivals who form an unlikely bond, these titles remind us that friendships can be as beautiful as they are complicated.
Perhaps you’re in the mood for an insightful drama that speaks to the challenges of maintaining friendships through adulthood (because let’s face it, making adult friends is hard), or maybe you’d prefer a lighthearted comedy that follows the misadventures of close pals. Thankfully, streaming services like Hulu and Netflix have all the best options available to stream. Keep reading for 30 of the best movies about friendship.
1. ‘Waiting to Exhale’ (1995)
Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon play BFFs who support each other as they navigate their relationship woes in this '90s classic. Adapted from Terry McMillan’s best-seller, the film gave us iconic scenes (like Bassett burning her husband’s car) and the best soundtrack. Cue Houston's "Exhale."
2. ‘Bridesmaids’ (2011)
Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life may be in shambles, but it’s not stopping her from stepping up as her best friend’s maid of honor. Although she’s determined to make the most of her BFF’s milestone occasion, another successful friend tries to upstage her, leading to a messy rivalry and a wild adventure that the bride-to-be certainly didn’t sign up for.
3. ‘The Breakfast Club’ (1985)
This ‘80s classic is a testament to what can happen when you spend time with people who aren’t in your social circle. Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy play very different high school students, who are forced to spend their Saturday together in detention. Though they initially keep their distance, they all start to form an unlikely friendship.
4. ‘Stand By Me’ (1986)
In the summer of 1959, four young boys—Gordie (Wil Wheaton), Vern (Jerry O’Connell), Chris (River Phoenix) and Teddy (Corey Feldman)—set out to find the body of a missing local, who was recently discovered in the woods. And during the trek, they learn quite a bit about loyalty and friendship.
5. ‘Girls Trip’ (2017)
Allow us to introduce the fabulous Flossy Posse, a group of four girlfriends who decide to make the most of their getaway to New Orleans. While it’s overflowing with raunchy scenes and laugh-worthy moments, the ladies’ friendship remains the core focus of this brilliant comedy.
(Oh, and it features the absolute best cast, including Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish.)
6. ‘Friend’ (2001)
Four kids from different backgrounds become the closest of friends, but as they get older, their different paths begin to pull them apart. While two of them pursue their education in college, the other two get involved with drugs and, worse yet, become each other’s rivals.
7. ‘The Wood’ (1999)
When Roland (Taye Diggs) gets cold feet and suddenly disappears on his wedding day, it’s up to his closest pals, Mike (Omar Epps) and Slim (Richard T. Jones), to find him before the wedding begins. And along the way, they relive some of their wildest stories from their teenage years.
8. ‘Booksmart’ (2019)
After spending the entirety of their high school years sticking their noses in books, close friends Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) decide to make up for lost time and squeeze as much fun as possible into a single night. As expected, mayhem ensues.
9. ‘Romy and Michele's High School Reunion’ (1997)
Desperate to impress their high school peers at their 10-year reunion, best friends Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) decide to pose as mega successful women and lie about their careers. But it’s only a matter of time before their classmates start to expose the cracks in their outlandish stories.
10. ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ (2005)
Based on the bestselling YA book, this movie follows Lena (Alexis Bledel), Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), Bridget (Blake Lively) and Carmen (America Ferrera), four close friends who try to stay connected while spending their first summer apart. The solution? A pair of jeans that magically fits each of them perfectly, despite their different body types.
11. ‘Dumb and Dumber’ (1994)
When two dim-witted friends, Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels), find a suitcase full of money, they embark on a road trip to return it to the rightful owner—not knowing that they themselves are being pursued by authorities and killers determined to get their hands on that suitcase. Is it borderline absurd? Yep. But does it also depict how friendships can overcome even the biggest challenges? Absolutely.
12. ‘Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle’ (2004)
The buddy comedy follows the misadventures of Harold (John Cho) and his best friend, Kumar (Kal Penn) as they set out to find a White Castle location after smoking marijuana and seeing one of their ads. Somehow, it turns into a bizarre trip that involves a stoned Neil Patrick Harris and an altercation with police—but you’ll be impressed by the smart humor. (Do yourself a favor and watch the entire franchise.)
13. ‘Thelma & Louise’ (1991)
Easily one of the best road trip movies of all time, the film follows Thelma Dickinson (Geena Davis) and Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon), two women who take a road trip to escape their dull lives…but it eventually turns out to be more than they bargained for. With it’ feminist themes and amazing depictions of friendship, it’s easy to see why it won so many accolades.
14. ‘The Brothers’ (2001)
Think Waiting to Exhale, except with four Black men, rather than four Black women. It follows the lives of four men (played by Morris Chestnut, D.L. Hughley, Bill Bellamy and Shemar Moore) as they navigate their friendships and romantic relationships. But when the playboy of the group announces that he’s tying the knot, it forces his friends to deal with their own commitment issues.
15. ‘Brian's Song’ (1971)
Set during the Civil Rights Era, football players and teammates Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) start off as rivals. But when Gale suffers an injury, Brian helps him recover, and it leads to an unlikely, lasting friendship that symbolizes progress and hope.
16. ‘Set It Off’ (1996)
Vivica A. Fox, Kimberly Elise, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith star as four Black women, who are desperate for financial security. They all agree to rob a bank together, but when one heist turns into multiple, it puts their friendship to the test—and their futures at risk.
17. ‘Now and Then’ (1995)
Longtime friends Samantha (Demi Moore), Roberta (Rosie O'Donnell) and Tina (Melanie Griffith) decide to have a special reunion with their childhood pal, Chrissy (Rita Wilson). Together, they reminisce about some of their favorite memories together from the summer of 1970.
18. ‘Superbad’ (2007)
When Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), two unpopular high school seniors and BFFs, get invited to a house party, they concoct a plan to supply plenty of booze and hopefully lose their virginity before heading off to college. But of course, things don't quite pan out.
19. ‘The Nice Guys’ (2016)
Set in Los Angeles during the ’70s, a pair of detectives, Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), are tasked with solving a case that involves the mysterious disappearance of a woman. But when they realize that dangerous people are also involved, they become fast allies and, eventually, good friends.
20. ‘Sex and the City’ (2008)
The movie finds Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in a committed relationship with Mr. Big (Chris Noth), and as always, she and her friends continue to support each other as they balance their careers with relationships. Things go south, however, when one particular friend puts Carrie’s relationship in jeopardy…
21. ‘Sunny’ (2011)
Grab your tissues, because this film will tug at the heartstrings. More than two decades after high school, six estranged friends agree to reunite and fulfill their dying friend’s wish. Told through two separate timelines, the film offers a glimpse of their adventures back then and their relationships now.
22. ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ (2001)
Looking for a great film that portrays authentic male friendships? Add this one to your queue. The racy Spanish drama follows two teenage best friends who go on a road trip with an attractive woman in her 20s—but there’s more to her than meets the eye. It deals with weightier themes like classism and sexuality. (FYI, expect a lot of steamy intimate scenes.)
23. ‘Confession’ (2014)
In a perfect world, childhood friends would remain close well into adulthood—but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In Confession, an unfortunate incident causes three close friends to grow apart.
24. ‘Mean Girls’ (2004)
When Cady Heron, the homeschooled new girl, attends public school for the first time, she agrees to infiltrate "The Plastics," better known as the most popular clique at North Shore High. But when she actually starts to become like them, it causes a rift between her and her outsider friends. Aside from giving us the best one-liners ever, Mean Girls also touches on several themes, from peer pressure to finding your identity.
25. ‘50/50’ (2011)
Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is shocked to learn one day that he has cancer, and he has a 50/50 chance of surviving his diagnosis. This new discovery tests his closest relationships and causes him to reconsider what truly matters.
26. ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ (2012)
The film chronicles young Charlie’s (Logan Lerman) first year of high school, when he befriends two seniors (played by Emma Watson and Ezra Miller), who help him navigate his biggest challenges. In the process, he enjoys the perks of having first loves and genuine friendships.
27. ‘Someone Great’ (2019)
After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Jenny (Gina Rodriguez), a music journalist, sets out to distract herself by having one last wild adventure with her best friends before moving to San Francisco for her dream job. A great reminder that quality time with your gal pals can fix almost anything.
28. ‘The First Wives Club’ (1996)
Nothing brings people together quite like a common enemy. In First Wives Club, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton shine as a trio of old friends who band together to seek revenge on their husbands, who left them for younger women. Alexa, please play “You Don’t Own Me.”
29. ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ (2015)
Inspired by Jesse Andrews's novel of the same name, this moving comedy-drama follows Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), a teen whose views are challenged when he befriends a classmate with leukemia. The insightful and moving coming-of-age tale speaks to the importance of genuine friendships.
30. ‘The Intouchables’ (2011)
Philippe (François Cluzet), a quadriplegic millionaire who resides in a mansion in Paris, hires Driss (Omar Sy), a young criminal, to be his new caretaker. And despite their vastly different backgrounds, the pair quickly become good friends.