When did having a buddy become a “bromance?”
The word is all over the place as the new Paul Rudd movie, “I Love You, Man” opens to solid reviews. It is, basically, about a guy who needs a good buddy. A buddy good enough to be the best man at his wedding. And it gives all the pop culturists something to chew on.
Cinematic bromance is, of course, nothing new. But I wonder what Laurel & Hardy and The Three Stooges would have thought about being called bromantic. (If you don’t know who they were, go away.) I’ll bet Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis would have embraced the concept. (In a manly/goofy way, of course.)
But in real life, true bromantics barely speak. It might take 50 years for two buddies to actually say enough to fill 90-minute movie.
Photographer Rick Huntington and I worked together for 14 years. We spent day after day together in a news car. We are, in fact, close friends of 30 years. But you could put all of our conversations on one cassette, and a short one at that. We could go an entire day without having a real conversation and enjoy each other’s company.
My brothers and I are close. If we need each other, we’re there in an instant. And the last time we talked was…uh…well…it wasn’t that long ago.
Perhaps the most extreme example is a lifelong friend who went incommunicado for 20 years. We saw each other in 2005.
Me: “So where the hell have you been?”
Him: “I f****d up.”
Both of us: “OK then, let’s have a drink. What’s new? Not much.”
That’s how true bromantics talk. But the ultimate bromantic exchange will never change. It starts at the age of, oh, 3 or 4, and stays with you forever.
“Whaddaya wanna do?”
“I dunno. Whaddaya YOU wanna do?”
That is true bromance.