Movies these days are really getting a kick out of the "buddy" mentality. Or, more recently, the idea of a "bromance." Obviously, this only applies to two or more men.
But way back in 1969, Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman had perfected the bromance, especially the idea of two men coming from different backgrounds, forming a friendship that can last through anything, and is stronger than either had imagined. It popped up out of nowhere, and neither regretted it.
I am becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Dustin Hoffman the more I watch him. He is able to slip in and out of characters so completely, when you watch him you don't think "Oh, it's Dustin Hoffman playing a New York bum," but "My goodness, of course it's Ratso. I mean Rizzo."
Neither of these characters have a life you want to lead. I can't imagine moving to New York to be a "hustler," nor can I imagine living in the slums of the city. But these are characters you root for. They are the epitome of characters you root for. From the beginning, Rizzo talks about Florida, and from the beginning you are begging that he can make it down there.
I haven't seen Jon Voight in many movies, but I can safely say that just from this movie it is obvious that these two actors are diamonds in the rough that is (and was) Hollywood.