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The Bromance of Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Matthew Lillard

In the late 1990's and early 2000's, there was no greater bromance than that between Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Matthew Lillard. The two of them appeared in no less than five movies together in a five year time span. These two were meant to be. Two young stars destined to take the world by storm as a team. Hanging out, meeting women, and enjoying the good life. And then, just like that, stardom was ripped away from them. Though they continued to work, they would never appear together again in a film.

What was it that pulled them apart? Did they just choose to go different directions? Was it Sarah Michelle Gellar that drove a wedge between these two? While Lillard eventually went on to star in an Oscar nominated film (The Descendants), Prinze, Jr. went on to write for the WWE and occasionally show up as a guest star on television shows. While both have tried, neither has recaptured that joy that once displayed on screen. Tonight, I want to dutifully remind the world of the greatness on screen we once saw. Let the trip down memory lane

She's All That (1999)

In some circles, this is by far the best of the collaborations between the two men. Prinze, Jr. stars as Zach Siler, the star soccer player of his high school. Lillard stars as Brock Hudson, a cast member from The Real World who has, coincidentally, started dating Zach's ex-girlfriend. Now, this is just a quick run down of the movie, but the few scenes that Prinze, Jr. and Lillard share are dynamic. Chemistry is brewing and it's a delight. You can already see the blossoming of a great screen pair and it would be later in the same year that we get to see these two teamed up again.

Wing Commander (1999)

I have never seen this movie, but I imagine that their bromance is amazing. Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Matthew Lillard in space? Awesome! How can you beat that? The thing I do remember about this movie is that people went to see it mostly because the first trailer of Star Wars: Episode I was running in front of the movie. Wing Commander won the box office it's opening weekend and then had a 90% drop off in it's next weekend. This couldn't have been good for the morale our two heroes, but they soldiered on.

Summer Catch (2001)

This movie is where the two men really hit their stride. They were completely on the top of their game. Prinze, Jr. plays Ryan Dunne, an upcoming baseball player in Massachusetts. Lillard plays Billy Brubaker, a catcher who is awesome in college but sucks in the minor leagues because he can't hit with a wooden bat. Prinze, Jr. can throw the ball in the low 90's and has tons of untapped talent, but he has his own problems. He is in love with Jessica Biel (the rich girl) and he can't seem to control his temper. As far as baseball movies go, this is the greatest of all time due to the Bromance of our two subjects. These two have perfect comedic timing and help carry the movie at all times. They use each other not only as wing men at bars, but on the field as well. You can almost tell they are friends in real life because of how much fun they are having. The Bromance is in full effect and you can smell Academy Awards in their future. As it was, fate would have something else in store. And fate rarely shines nicely on you when Rowan Atkinson is involved.

Scooby Doo (2002) and Scooby Doo 2 (2004)

As all relationships go, good things must always come to an end. I'm sure kids liked these movies. Isla Fisher was in one of them. Linda Cardellini was in both of them. These two went onto good things. We're not here to talk about that. Perhaps it was the method acting that drove these two men apart. Prinze, Jr. had to play Fred, the handsome leader of the group. Lillard played Shaggy, the dimwitted stoner of the group. Maybe the two of them got too deep into their characters and that carried into real life. Maybe jealousy over solving crimes committed these two men to a lifetime of never working together. Either way, Scooby Doo actually has a higher user rating on IMDB. Not sure what people are thinking there, but it can't make Prinze, Jr. and Lillard very happy.

And then nothing. The two do not make another movie together. And it's a shame. That's why it's time we see these two back together again. When the infectious laugh of Matthew Lillard and the boyish good looks of Freddie Prinze, Jr. meet, nothing can stop them. It's like capturing energy and trying to harness it into a ball. That energy has been harnessed for far too long. These two deserve better. Let these two friends unite on screen again. Let them bring that magic to the screens to warm viewers hearts as if they were never gone. Give the two of them their well deserved Bromantical glory. If not, we will be stuck with the Damon/Affleck bromance for the next twenty years. And if you ask me, their shtick has grown weary. It's time to usher in the Prinze, Jr./Lillard. Again. Forever.

*NOTE: While writing this, I jumped over to Yahoo. Freddie Prinze, Jr. held the number two spot for trending topics. It seems he will be appearing on the t.v. show Bones next year. I can't confirm that Matthew Lillard will be in the same episode, but he should be.

Be sure to follow me @jasonrh_78 on Twitter or visit my website for more pop culture rantings, ravings, and deep thoughts.


Unknown said…
There were some long gaps between some of Jack Lemmon's and Walter Mathau's collaborations. No telling what the future will bring.
Jason Haskins said…
Fingers crossed they find the right project in the future. (And here's to hoping it's not a remake of "Grumpy Old Men".)

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