How many ways can men bond? They can bond over the effort of getting their friend laid (40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN), or they can alternatively support and ridicule their friend as he struggles to do the right thing (KNOCKED UP), or they can fetch them diet cokes, cup their balls, and sit at their bedside while they fall asleep as in FUNNY PEOPLE. It’s been out for awhile now and I wasn’t compelled to see it until it was 90 degrees out yesterday and I sought the respite only an air-conditioned movie theater can provide, but I’m kind of glad I did. It stars Adam Sandler as George Simmons, an Adam Sandler-like comedian: middle-aged, ex-stand up comic earning an ample income making pandering comedies, and Seth Rogen as Ira, a struggling comic hired to be Simmons’ assistant. The pair develop that love/hate bro-relationship Apatow does so well, at one moment patting each other on the back and the next making fun of each other’s penis size.
On the eve of a new Paul Giamatti comedy, COLD SOULS (opens 8/7), and with Sam Rockwell’s MOON in theatres now, I decided to return to an early comedy for these talented actors. It’s SAFE MEN (1998), the first film from writer-director John Hamburg, and it’s … well, it’s the Father of Bromance.
Okay, I should say the Father of Modern Bromance. A simple google search got me to the history of the bromance, wherein references to Han and Chewie and Felix and Oscar (bromance amongst all bromances) set me straight. (See IGN.com’s top ten bromance couples here.) Although – side note – they clearly understand bromance as synonomous to The Buddy Film; I understand it more as The Buddy Comedy. And Modern Bromance? 90s-inspired, Apatow-flavored man-love? The general public may think the Apatow craze spawned movies this summer like (Hamburg’s) I LOVE YOU, MAN and HUMP DAY, but I contend it all started with SAFE MEN.
This film POUND by Evan Bernard has been around the block a few times, but I really want to make sure the Sundance audience sees this terrific short. It depicts two friends greeting each other in the street with a complex handshake. A great representation of bromance at its best!