Bro-mance. (n., adj., v.) 1. Love between two heterosexual dudes that soars past regular friendship and does an intimate waltz around the line of platonic-ness 2. An alternative type of romance that, while it may at times be obstructed by women, will be rooted solely in the strong bond between two men 3. More than just friends...but not in that way
This list has been made in honor of the hilarious I Love You, Man, (go see it now!!!) but the truth is that the art of the bromance has actually existed for thousands of years; (maybe starting at Cain and Abel ... or not). This special relationship has been continued by many great figures of cinema (like Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa), and the recognition continues to this very day. In these new times where "bro" is replacing the word "dude", and as various words of "bro-cabulary" begin to assimilate themselves into our daily vernacular, we must look back at the classic bonds of the past.
Chicks and dudes, here's a list of seven classic bromances from the last decade. Some of these are so beautiful, you might need to grab a tissue.
7. Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) and Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) from Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3: This is a special relationship that has the unique beginning at the bottom. Before Carter and Lee had met each other, they had already developed ill-thoughts about one another. The Chinese agent Lee thought that American Detective Carter was "full of sh*t". Carter, on the other hand, thought that Lee didn't speak any English, and was going to be a major buzzkill to his "G-14 classified" mission. The duo of Carter and Lee turned from poison ivy into a beautiful Lotus flower when the two established cultural understanding. Carter taught Lee how to dance, show off a badge, and even how to say the word "war." In turn, Lee educated his partner on Chinese delicacy, and in Rush Hour 2 showed Carter his streets. Their friendship is also supported by their desire for justice, and their subsequent sacrifice of selfish intentions when trying to solve a case. There are many buddy cop duos (48 Hours, Tango and Cash), but they are not as beautiful as Carter and Lee.
6. Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) and Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly) from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: The chemistry between Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton Jr. could have fueled a single go-kart across the "best country in the universe," America, before making its first pit stop to get some Arby's. Their friendship started at a wee age, when the only sentence that Ricky Bobby could only really comprehend was "I wanna go fast." Since their youthful roots, the two grew together as partners, with Cal lovingly taking the spot of second place so that his friend Ricky can always stand at the top of various NASCAR races. Like what happens to the best of bromances, their relationship spun out of control when personal differences arose. It also didn't help when Cal stole his wife (and his home, and his kids, etc). However, these choices highlight the beneficial aspect of such a strong friendship. They would motivate Ricky Bobby to be his best, and to also find his true love in assistant Susan (Amy Adams). In the end, the two end up back as friends, with full knowledge that there can't be any shake without any bake.
5. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy: Jack and Will might have been pirates of a sort, but they were master commanders of a different kind of vessel - the mighty relation-ship. Theirs was not one without a few flaws. They both went after the same girl (Keira Knightley, even when she dressed as a dude), and in various cases almost killed each other. However, in more cases than not, they saved each other from certain peril. Their bromance is another classic example of benefit - they were relatively supportive of each other in getting the damn black pearl, and when Jack Sparrow got sucked up by god-knows-what, Turner went right in after him.
4. Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) and Wilson from Cast Away: In some other movie, Tom Hanks once murmured, "life's a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." This philosophy was given one of its most significant examples with the unlikely yet extremely symbolic friendship between FedEx guy Chuck and a Wilson volleyball (named Wilson). In life and love, sometimes we feel all alone. We feel completely removed from our loved ones, we are cold, hungry, tired, etc. Then, someone special moves into our lives, and helps us pull it together. This role of support was played magnificently by the stoic Wilson, who became the ball that Chuck leans on in times of despair. Chuck gained an immense friend in Wilson, and though his way of repayment (losing him in the ocean) may not have been just, it is certain that one particular volleyball will always have a place in both his and our hearts. Which makes me think: was Robert Zemeckis trying to speak volumes about the magnitude of bromance, and we were just too busy being bored to notice?
3. John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey from Wedding Crashers: Some man relationships have a particular focus - this coupling narrows on the "wingman" aspect. But John Beckwith and Jeremy Gray were not just wingmen for the other. With their smooth gliding through various social bodies, they might as well have been airplanes. The two navigated through an innumerable amount of family events, challenged the female partygoers to resist their calculated charm, and never forgot the number one rule of crashing: "never leave a fellow crasher behind." Even when they got "tied down" by their unlikely love interests, they still returned to each other. After having climbed various metaphorical rocky mountains, they reached a peak of man love that is only shared by the greats (some of whom are on this list).
2. Shrek (Mike Myers) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) from Shrek: Love isn't the only place where opposites attract. The duo of Shrek and Donkey proved this. Shrek was a "big, ugly ogre" and Donkey was ... a donkey. The pairing started in a rough patch, which had Donkey (and other fairy tale characters) hoping to shack up in Shrek's peaceful abode. Similar to Samwise and Frodo (next), the two became close when they are sent on a journey that offered them unexpected thrills and unlikely romance (at least for Donkey, who falls for a dragon). The story of Shrek is grounded on its farce for fairy tales, but it spoke the truth about the importance of a bromance - and the wild man-dates it can send us on.
1. Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) from the Lord of the Rings trilogy: It has been said that J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is essentially about men struggling with the responsibility of power. However, could it be argued that this series is really a tribute to the eternal power of the bromance? Consider the heavy amount of male bonding in the story. From Merry and Pippin to Aragon, Legolas, and Gimli, is this story really about the undying bond of a bunch of dudes? Now, consider the series' most important relationship, that of Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. This is the type of coupling that could only be assembled by something as powerful as fate (or a big bearded wizard). These two Hobbits trekked together (with third wheel, Gollum) through the darkest areas of Middle Earth, fought off various enemies, and were left with an undying friendship the size of Helm’s Deep.
There are many buddy relationships in movies nowadays, but these the ones that will define film history. Who do you think we are leaving out in the cold?