The greatest buddy comedies of all-time
Will 'The Heat's' Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy join the list?
21. 'Paper Moon' (1973)
Mixed-gender buddy comedies are a rare genre as it is; a father-daughter one is practically unique. But Moses and Addie Pray don’t exactly have a conventional parent-child relationship: they meet at her mother’s graveside, for starters, and he denies paternity anyway. (Others claim the girl “has his jaw,” and she certainly does: they’re played by Ryan O’Neal and his real-life daughter Tatum, who became the youngest competitive Oscar winner in history for her irresistible star turn.) From here on, Peter Bogdanovich’s delightful Depression-era comedy breaks all the usual Hollywood rules of drippy cross-generational bonding: Moses, a sly confidence trickster masquerading as a Bible salesman, discovers a similarly devious streak in his sorta-daughter, and the pair make a perfect criminal team – their effectiveness impaired only when Moses allows other women into his life. It’s a knockaround farce tinged with bittersweet melancholy: these two hucksters have only each other in the world, and sometimes even that isn’t an awful lot.