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Best Friends (1982)

Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn play Hollywood screenwriters Richard Babson and Paula McCullen who have, for five years, been an unbeatable team as writers, lovers, and roommates.

It’s such a perfect arrangement. Why spoil it by getting married? he insists. She’s afraid she’ll lose her identity.

Finally, they compromise, sneaking off secretly to a chapel in the Spanish section of Los Angeles – giving scriptwriters Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson a chance to milk a few feeble laughs from a Jose Jimenez preacher.

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But it’s on the honeymoon that the real relationship begins and the movie starts cracking.

In the blizzards of Buffalo, her parents (Jessica Tandy and Barnard Hughes) turn out to be nutty old eccentrics who never stop babbling, while in the cornball vulgarity of a Virginia condominium, his parents (Keenan Wynn and Audra Lindley) live with eighteen thousand other people in nitwit suburban catatonia.

Each is driven bananas by the other one’s parents. He almost freezes to death from open windows; she almost dies from an overdose of Valium.

Reynolds doesn’t drop his pants, roll his eyes, or drive a truck into the scenery. He actually seems inspired by Goldie, who gives her most beautifully modulated performance since Sugarland Express (1974).

Richard Babson
Burt Reynolds
Paula McCullen
Goldie Hawn
Eleanor McCullen
Jessica Tandy
Tim McCullen
Barnard Hughes
Ann Babson
Audra Lindley
Tom Babson
Keenan Wynn
Larry Weisman
Ron Silver
Nellie Ballou
Carol Locatell
Jorge Medina
Richard Libertini
Carol Brandon
Peggy Walton-Walker
Lyle Ballou
Noah Hathaway
Robbie Ballou
Mikey Martin

Director
Norman Jewison