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The Heat is the surprise hit of the weekend, bringing in a whopping $40 million and continuing Melissa McCarthy's remarkable winning streak of pretty much whatever comedy she wants to make. Between this and last year's 21 Jump Street (and even this weekend's other release White House Down, in its own way) we seem to have found ourselves in a kind of meta-revival of the buddy cop movie. Everyone knows that the genre is done to death, so they're working overtime to make something unique out of it-- like a story about two women, or a meta-comedy that knows it's a comedy, or… well, who knows what might be next?
We haven't been this excited about seeing two mismatched cops take on a case since Murtaugh and Riggs first got on each others nerves, and we're already scheming up with more pairs of unlikely partners who we could see bring down the bad guys next. We've got 7 suggestions below, but we want to hear yours in the comments.
Jessica Walter and Kristen Wiig
A good buddy-cop dynamic requires excellent chemistry within the partnership. Even though Kristen Wiig and Jessica Walter didn't get to demonstrate that chemistry in the new season of Arrested Development, since the two were never actually on screen together, Wiig's portrayal of a younger version of Walter's Lucille Bluth was so great that the next logical step is to partner these two up. Their demonstrated sense of comedic timing makes them a great fit to be teamed up, and their age difference invites some amazing potential to the dynamic, whether they're set up as mother and daughter or mentor and apprentice. I picture Walter less as a lady in blue and more as a suited up FBI agent with a wealth of knowledge and experience to impart on Wiig's character, who might still be climbing the ranks and pushing forward in her career. Regardless of the story, these two actors are funny and talented enough to make a great partnership, and one we'd love to see on screen.
(Ben Affleck and Matt Damon slideshow image courtesy of Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)
Charlie Day and Bradley Cooper
This one is a no-brainer. Charlie Day, the high-energy breakout star from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, has proved the bright spot in any comedy he's come in contact with, from the raunchy dark venture Horrible Bosses to the family friendly Monsters University. With The Hangover movies and his Oscar-nominated turn in Silver Linings Playbook, Cooper has shown he can play a jerk and still be hilarious…not to mention wildly attractive. The fact that these two have not yet been paired up for a buddy cop comedy seems completely unjust. Just imagine: Cooper is a hard-nosed hero cop who is beloved by all until an unfortunate slip-up of some embarrassing sort equals front page scandal. Needing to redeem himself he pushes for a high-profile case that gets him paired up to a wacky witness (Day, obviously) and together the two must bring down some sneering drug dealer while not killing each other. I'll be honest, team these two up and I won't care about the plot as long as there is at least one shouting match and perhaps a slap fight.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Donald Glover
My favorite “buddy” duos are polar opposites. Family-man Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and suicidal loner Riggs (Mel Gibson). White-collar Tango (Sylvester Stallone) and redneck Cash (Kurt Russell). Usually they are an interracial pairing, and while that’s not essential, it’s an element I’m adding to my dream casting for a buddy-action comedy adventure. I want to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Donald Glover on screen together, and I want to see it now. A Cumberbatch-Glover pairing ticks off several boxes on the buddy-comedy cliché chart. The characters come from opposing sides of the “pond” – always good for obvious punchlines. Cumberbatch brings marquee heat, having starred in a summer blockbuster and multiple hit cable programs. Glover fits the bill of a proven television star ready for his breakout. (Think Tom Hanks or Eddie Murphy before they became A-list movie stars.) Finally, I think both men are versatile actors with distinct senses of humor that would play off of each other beautifully. Want to really reverse roles? Write Glover as the uptight, by-the-book investigator. Cast Cumberbatch as the wise-cracking rule breaker. Sit back and watch the money come pouring in.
Anna Kendrick and Jennifer Lawrence
Anna Kendrick is probably the world’s greatest forensic arson investigator. She loves making references to books no one else has read and busting perps who mistakenly think they didn’t leave any trace evidence. Jennifer Lawrence is probably the world’s greatest arson cop. She loves hustling men at darts and trying to work in a horrible pun every time she puts a new suspect into her police cruiser. Emma Stone is probably the world’s greatest arson prosecutor. She loves building elaborate Rube Goldberg machines inside that room in her apartment no one else goes in and keeping her face expressionless while downing a stiff glass of victory scotch. Together, the women are (not probably) the greatest arson investigation unit in the entire world. They don’t fuck around when it comes to fires or being best friends forever, but after Stone gets put in the hospital following a hit and run and the moron regular cops turn up nothing, Kendrick and Lawrence decide to solve their arson cases as quickly as possible during the day in order to spend their evenings hunting down this vehicular menace. He might think he’s fireproof, but he hasn’t seen what happens when these ladies turn up the heat.
Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. a.k.a. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 2
So far we’ve focused primarily on new potential buddy cop team-ups, but this was one we just couldn’t resist. After having previously brought together epic pairs like Mel Gibson & Danny Glover, Bruce Willis & Damon Wayans, and Geena Davis & Samuel L. Jackson, writer/director Shane Back struck gold when he cast Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in the darkly comedic, noir-inspired Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The story of a small-time crook and a gay private detective who team up to uncover a conspiracy in Los Angeles, the film soared thanks to its two leads, who shared incredibly chemistry, pitch-perfect timing and a remarkable ability at getting their mouths around Black’s particular brand of dialogue. We would watch thousands of movies about the adventures of Harry Lockhart and "Gay" Perry van Shrike, and while the first movie didn’t exactly blow the doors off the box office, why not capitalize on the fact that Black and Downey Jr. just made the fifth highest grossing film of all time worldwide?
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Hollywood's most famous best friends haven't acted together since 2001's Dogma. Just think about how insane that is-- Matt Damon is famous as Jason Bourne and Liz Lemon's best boyfriend, Ben Affleck is famous as that guy who won a bunch of Oscars a few months ago, and the two of them have been famous as a pair ever since they hugged each other on the Oscars stage (see above). It seems insane that the two haven't paired up again onscreen, and while their Whitey Bulger biopic stalls out, why not put them together and tap into something that neither of them shows off enough: their sense of humor? The trick here is not to fall into the cliches about them, and actually allow them to riff on their own personas. Let Matt Damon take advantage of his family man reputation and play a small-town private detective, the kind of guy who investigates when cows go missing and when a man thinks his wife is cheating. Let Affleck make fun of the Bennifer days by playing a puffed-up, big-spending, big-city PI, who comes to Damon's small town when one of his marks seems to escape to the hinterlands. Put the two in charge of cracking the case, but make sure they hate each other so much they can barely get it done. Knowing about their famous friendship you'll know all along that they'll team up eventually… but who hasn't wanted to see Damon and Affleck spar a bit on screen? It's been way too long since Good Will Hunting. They owe us.
Sherri Shepherd made many great appearances on 30 Rock as Tracy Jordan's powerfully affectionate wife, but few moments were better than when she'd intimidate the hell out of Tina Fey's Liz Lemon, whose attempts to talk to Angie were almost always embarrassing. Now I'm dying to see the age-old tradition of buddy cops dealing with race issues tackle the thorny relationships between white and black women, and there's nobody better to do it than Fey-- who gets white female neuroses better than anyone-- and Shepherd, who's just straight-up hilarious in literally everything. The clip linked above pretty much gives you the dynamic. Fey is the awkward, bookworm desk cop who gets thrown into an investigation, and Shepherd is the streetwise detective resisting everyone's efforts to stereotype her as the "sassy black friend." It's basically the plot of Date Night, but with Fey and Shepherd running around New York City and a lot more awkward conversations about weaves and fake nails.