Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Duo Types of the 90's - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Duo Types of the 90’s

I noticed an interesting trend in movies during the ‘90s: The duo was back in full force. In order to really talk about this subject, I have to explain my definition of a duo in this context. For me to consider a movie a duo movie, the central characters in the movie have the strongest/most prevalent bond. There were plenty of movies that had a duo in it that I wanted to include on the list, but did not fit the definition. For example, Home Alone has the Water Bandits duo, but they play off the singular protagonist, Kevin, which means the movie is a trio. One could argue that the duo trend was still in effect because the main character could have been fighting against a singular antagonist, but that is opening up a big superfluous can of worms.

In no particular order, here are ten types of duos in the ‘90s. Note: these duos did not necessarily originate in the ‘90s, but were very widespread during the decade.

1. Female Friends Duo: Thelma and Louise, Fried Green Tomatoes. The movie has two strong female leads that are usually best friends and embark on a life-changing experience (or several experiences over time) together. Happiness of ending may vary.

2. Adversarial Duo: Cable Guy, Face/Off. The adversarial duo are two people who are on a similar power level who either starts off as enemies or become enemies over the course of the film. The interpersonal discord drives the movie. In the case of these two movies, one is a movie that was supposed to be funny, but most people didn’t get the humor; the other is a movie that was supposed to be an action movie, but was made hilarious by the shear madness that is Nicholas Cage.

3. Dumbass Duo: Dumb and Dumber, Beavis and Butthead (Do America). Two male idiot leads embark on some kind of adventure and bring inconsistent levels of hilarity along the way.

4. The New George Milton and Lennie Small Duo (with much less tragic results): Almost Heroes, Tommy Boy, Black Sheep. We have a case of the snarky guy and the idiot who are also brought together by the plot gods (and the wacky adventure hijinks ensue).

5. Buddy Cop Duo: Rush Hour, Bad Boys, Rush Hour, Se7en, Men in Black, Die Hard with a Vengeance. This genre wasn’t new in the ‘90s, but it sure was prevalent and profitable during the decade. The movie that seems to stick out like a sore thumb is Se7en, but the dynamic of Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman takes the buddy cop dynamic and make it more realistic, making the typical buddy cop character flaws (e.g. ignoring the wife) more pronounced and important.

6. Even-Keel Buddy Duo: Mallrats, Swingers, Wayne’s World. Similar to the Female Friend Duo but with male leads. In the case of Mallrats, we have a case of dueling buddy duos, namely Jay and Silent Bob, and T.S. and Brodie. While all four characters interact, there is no strong inter-duo connection that could make it a quartet.

7. Quasi-sexual Domination/Submission Duo: Single White Female, Misery. While the pairing may not be a sexual pairing per se, a sexual subtext could be present (then again, you could find a sexual subtext in most things). One member of the duo has direct power (Misery) or indirect power (SWF) over the submissive partner. In most cases, the submissive party does not want to be in a submissive position, but is forced there instead. Whatever happened to no means no?

8. Cat and Mouse Duo: The Fugitive, Heat. Two leads (usually male) who are put in an adversarial position but do not know each other, so the adversarial position does not breed interpersonal discord., which means they cannot be an adversarial duo. In fact, if the leads met, like in the case of Heat, they might actually get along quite well (they could even be friends in a different set of circumstances).

9. Romantic Duo: Pretty Woman, You’ve Got Mail, or any romantic comedy during the decade. The romantic duo is part of a type of movie that has been made, that is made, and will be made until the end of filmmaking and/or time. Whichever one comes first.

10. Mentor/Mentee Duo: Silence of the Lambs, Donnie Brasco, Scent of a Woman. This duo is exactly what you think it is. This duo tends to blur the lines with other duos (for example, Lector/Clarice could be considered a mentor/mentee, a quasi-sexual domination/submission, and a romantic duo [unrequited]).

Posted by Amanda

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