Top Ten Bromance Movies
When it comes to watching SFW dude-on-dude action, you can’t do much better than a good bromance movie. And you don’t need to resign yourself to some by-numbers quip-stirrer starring Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd as Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, nor have to resort to watching old Spock n’ Kirk episodes to sate your appetite for man love; there are loads of quality bromance movies out there for those of you allergic to the norm. You snobs.
Here are our twelve Top Ten Bromance Movies for people fed up of Judd Apatow.
12. The Shawshank Redemption
Proving that even the harshest soil can be fecund ground for bro-love, wrongly imprisoned mild-mannered banker Andy Dufresne meets and falls head over heels for wise old Red in the perennially atrocious Shawshank Penitentiary. During their two decades of shared incarceration, Andy concocts the world’s most satisfying revenge plan because true freedom is ALL IN THE MIND, while Red stands around looking thoughtful and talking about what an absolute dreamboat Andy is. Their relationship is so strong that when Andy escapes Shawshank, he arranges for Red to join him in Mexico when he gets released, where they share a right proper bear hug on a beach. What? No, that’s just sand in our eyes.
Yes, it’s a kids’ film and yes, it’s got anthropomorphic turtles in, but it’s still got more bromantic integrity than an entire Carlsberg marketing campaign. With The Shredder dispatched with, our four heroes have become somewhat estranged, leading to anguished fights in the rain and feelings and junk, before the boys realise that without each other, they are but anthropomorphic turtles in a man’s world. The (literal) bromance is so strong that even Patrick Stewart is infected by it, as he tries to bring his ancient monster bros back to life, because ‘Bros before The Shackles Of The Grave’. Or something.
10. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Sometimes, bromance is so strong, it’s a little bit mad. There’s a whole smorgasbord of bro-love in this classic tale of a magical asshole who comes to an asylum to liberate the lunatics from the confines of the system: McMurphy’s influence allowing Chief to come out of his self-imposed prison, McMurphy getting Brad Dourif laid, McMurphy bringing the boys deep-sea fishing because bros love the outdoors, and so on and so forth. It all ends in tragedy when the system McMurphy railed against makes mincemeat out of him, but his miraculous testosterone has forever changed Chief, who now feels as big as a mountain as well as looking like one. And that Nurse Ratched! What a bitch, amiright fellas?
9. Reservoir Dogs
Reservoir Dogs is about a group of belligerent criminals who like to talk jive and bitch about waitresses. BUT it’s also about the touching and completely ill-advised relationship between Mr. White and Mr. Orange, one of which ruins the other’s life by being a big fat liar but compensates by repaying him in kind. As in, allowing himself to be killed in reparation. Bros know there’s nothing quite as noble as dying for your fellow man, man.
8. The Return Of The King
So Frodo and his bros go off to Mount Doom to save the world but events conspire against them and soon Frodo is all alone and at the mercy of the conniving Gollum. But wait! Here comes his faithful bro, the broest of all his bros, Samwise Gamgee, who’s going to put his life on the line in order to help his friend be the hero he needs to be. And by ‘put his life on the line’, we mean Sam boldly goes into enemy territory armed with nothing more than his knowledge of shrubberies, defeats a mutant spider with a lightbulb, carries Frodo when he can walk no more, and then rescues the ungrateful little bollocks even though he only fulfils his duty because Gollum bit his finger off. In fact, the only reason Sam didn’t appear higher on this list is that we reckon he’s a bit of an enabler.
Also, can a dwarf and an elf ever truly learn to love one another? Tune in to the exploits of Legolas and Gimli to find out!
7. Stand By Me
Oh Stephen King, how you pluck our manly heartstrings. Stand By Me is a film about four boys who go to find a fabled dead body because boys love disgusting shit and BONDING. Along the way, they learn about life and each other and then Richard Dreyfuss tells us that no one has any friends like they did when they were twelve years old. Which is really sad because he also makes it pretty clear he had fuck all to do with his compadres after their communal coming of age and only found out his bestest bro died via the newspaper. The moral of the story is: bromance fizzles out just like romance, so bro it up and bro it hard while you still have the chance.
6. La Haine
Sometimes, your love for your bros will both warp and redeem you, and all in the same 19-hour period. Vinz, Hubert and Said are three friends who come from the same Paris banlieue. After a riot between the police and youths, Vinz finds a cop’s lost gun and vows to use it to enact revenge if his friend Abdel, who was injured in the riots, dies. The trio wander the city, finding themselves in situations which both exemplify their disenfranchisement and expose their unwillingness to conform to the urban stereotypes that plague them. The support of his bros allows Vinz to retire his revenge fantasies, and even in the film’s devastating ending we see that the lads choose to be defined by their friendship. La Haine is a must-see and the perfect antidote to the schmaltzy high-gloss toilet humour of many modern bro-flicks.
5. The Big Lebowski
In which the Dude Lebowski embarks on a crazy adventure to find the kidnapped wife of his snobby, well-heeled namesake. But it is not the wild ride that defines The Big Lebowski, nor the twists and turns of the double-crossers Dude comes into contact with; rather, it is the batshit but oddly touching relationship he has with his bros: the explosive gasbag Walter, and the nice-but-dim Donny. Despite the fact that Dude knows neither will prove an asset to his exploits, he can’t help but take them along for the ride. Hilarity ensues. Which goes to show that your buddies may not always be perfect – in fact, they may be so daft as to make you look like the sane one – but a hearty bromance is its own reward.
Philippe is filthy rich and lives in a luxurious house in Paris. He’s also quadriplegic, which makes him understandably cranky. Interviewing new candidates for a carer’s position, he meets Driss, a young man from the wrong side of the tracks who is less interested in conducting a proper interview than he is in flirting with Philippe’s secretary and getting a signature for his benefits claim to prove that he’s been job-hunting. Philippe is intrigued, Driss is hired, and the two of them get into a ton of scrapes all while bantering their bromantic arses off. There’s even an ‘If you love somebody, set them free’ moment. This is bromance without boundaries, and the two leads are dripping with charisma.
3. Hot Fuzz
Simon Pegg plays uptight Sergeant Nicholas Angel. Real life bestie Nick Frost plays cuddly PC Danny Butterman. Together, they unravel the world’s most ludicrous murder conspiracy whilst falling desperately in love with one another. A homage to buddy movies and an instant classic, Hot Fuzz quite simply out bros the brotastic films it celebrates. It’s got pints, lads’ nights in, fist fights, pratfalls, guns, ice cream and verbal jousting. Brogasm.
2. Mean Creek
Only five of the six young characters in Mean Creek are bros, but the film’s theme is brotherhood, and Carly Schroeder’s so good in it she deserves her very own article anyway. Sam is beaten up by schoolyard bully George, so older brother Rocky steps in with a plan to humiliate George without stooping to his level. They organise a boat trip and invite along Sam’s almost-girlfriend Millie; sensitive, sensible Clyde; and Rocky’s best friend Marty, who’s far too vulnerable and volatile to be involved in anything that could go as horribly wrong as Rocky’s plan does. While the film explores actual brotherhood in Sam’s loss of faith in his erstwhile hero Rocky, it also highlights the importance of male friendship, as between Rocky and Marty, who share a bond that ultimately finishes them. Mean Creek’s denouement is shattering for its highlighting of failed brotherhood and loss of innocence. It’s as deep and sobering as anything in the bromance genre, and the performances from its young cast are haunting.
1. Looking for Eric
Eric is a postman whose life is falling apart. He’s racked with guilt over his abandoning his ex-wife, and he can’t cope with seeing her even though they share a granddaughter. His stepsons walk all over him and one of them is in serious trouble with a local gangster. Eric contemplates suicide, but his friends rally round, and an experience with one of the stepsons’ cannabis stash conjures up helpful visions of his hero Eric Cantona, whose wisdom prompts Postman Eric to become more assertive and sort his life out. Though he begins repairing his relationship with his family, the gangster threat worsens, lending a genuinely horrific undertone to what would otherwise be the whimsical tale of an hallucinating postman. Cantona advises Eric to seek help from his ‘team’, leading to a genuinely wonderful climax where Eric and his mates extract revenge on the nasty gangster and set the world to rights. A fairytale for working class lads, Looking For Eric is a lovesong to bromance which, in a happy coincidence, manages to be marvellous and touching in equal measure.