I'm trying to understand the meaning of the sentence in the title. The frame is the following: a novel and screenplays writer is talking about his loss of creativity due to some personal situations and he seems to say the sentence in the title.

I said "he seems to" because I'm not fully sure, anyway here is the audio I got it from.

I hope some of you can help me understanding what does the writer mean.

  • Your title text isn't a "sentence" as such. It's just a relatively unusual noun phrase written in "headlinese" style (without much attention to things like syntax). The thing being referenced by the NP is a movie featuring a couple of "boot" cops (in "police boot camp"; early training) who are buddies. The movie also features "some animal" (a "random" choice, unspecified) who has a kind of "sidekick" role (accompanies / kicks around with those cops, who are the main characters in the storyline). Jan 4, 2020 at 17:49
  • (It's probably being presented as a stereotypical example of a really trashy movie - most likely to illustrate how far the central character has sunk, if that kind of "rehashed turkey" is the best he can produce, now that his creative juices have dried up.) Jan 4, 2020 at 17:53
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica: Why does he say "buddy" though (specifically why singular)? Jan 4, 2020 at 18:38
  • Because (particularly in British English, if we're to believe Collins Dictionary), a buddy movie is a well-known compound noun defined as a genre of film dealing with the relationship and adventures of two friends. There's also the collocation cop movie (where the central characters are mostly policemen), so it's just a question of whether to combine the two as a cop buddy movie or a buddy cop movie. But I can't tell you why the version as cited above sounds more "natural" to me. It just does. Jan 4, 2020 at 18:56
  • ...Note that both cop and buddy there are "noun adjuncts" (nouns used "adjectivally"). And noun adjuncts are nearly always singular. Jan 4, 2020 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


"Boot cop buddy movie with some stupid animal sidekick"

This is trying to define a very specific genre of movies. Commonly-referenced movie genres tend to be quite broad - for example Romance, Comedy, Horror, or Action. There are also many sub-genres which require further definition, like Romantic-Comedy which contain elements from two different genres. Yet, there are also many movie tropes or cliches which have been so frequently used they can be described, as in your example, and be familiar to many.

  • A "boot cop" is a rookie, or inexperienced police officer.
  • A "buddy movie" is a film where the dynamic between two friends is a key element of the film. These are commonly also cops.
  • An "animal sidekick" is an animal partnered with a human. In police stories, these are usually police dogs.

There are a number of movies where the traditional "cop buddy movie" has been subverted by replacing one human with a dog, and therefore the dynamic is between the animal and the human. Examples that spring to mind are Turner and Hooch, K9, and Top Dog.

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