Bromantic comedy

A bromantic comedy is a comedy film genre that takes the formula of the typical "romantic comedy" but focuses on close male friendships.[1][2]


Bromance, a word that blends the words "brother" and "romance", can be defined as a "close nonsexual friendship between men".[3][4] A bromantic comedy finds humor in reversing the formula of the typical "romantic comedy". In the film Knocked Up, it is not the man and woman that have the romantic chemistry, but the two men. In I Love You Man, it is not the man and woman (the bride and groom) of the story who fall in love, break up, and then are reunited romantically at the end—but the two male leads.[2] Bromantic comedy films present expressions of male intimacy, while toying with the suggestion of something other than "straight" behavior, and at the same time insisting that such intimacies not be misinterpreted as anything beyond friendship.[5][6]

The "slovenly hipster" protagonists of the bromantic comedy usually are not mature and are lacking in ambition. They are "beta males" that are into porn and junk food, but they are forced to grow up when they discover "straight arrow" women, children and responsibility.[7] It is a story of "the dissolution of a male pack, the ending of a juvenile male bond," according to David Denby in The New Yorker.[8]

Bromantic comedies contain the concept of a "code" between men: "bros before hos". The idea is that the bonds between men are more significant, stronger, deeper and based on mutual understanding, whereas the bonds between a man and a woman can be capricious, shallow and less satisfying. So, if a man leaves his male friends for a woman, he will eventually be dumped, abandoned, betrayed, and/or dominated. This may be too dark for comedy, so bromantic comedies deal with misogyny with tentativeness.[5] There is often an element in the plot that allows the men to go off on their own, away from the women. Examples of this are the "man cave" of I Love You, Man, or the "mancation" of The Hangover.[2][9]

According to film scholar Timothy Shary in Millennial Masculinity: Men in Contemporary American Cinema, a number of films in this genre, like Wedding Crashers, provide a surprising level of bisexuality for its male characters, and a place for more diversified male relationships to exist.[10]

Shakespeare's play, Love's Labor's Lost, provides, in its opening passage,[11] a comedic prototype for the idea of men agreeing to a "code" to sequester themselves and avoid romance with the opposite sex.[12][13]

Judd Apatow is a prominent director of the bromantic comedy genre. His films The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005),[9][14] and Knocked Up (2007) paved the way for a surge of similar films that were released in the mid-late 2000s.[15] Films from this era found an audience for the comedic depiction of same-sex relationships, something to which male viewers could relate, but which had been overlooked by screenwriters.[16][17]


Aspects of "bromantic comedies", including male camaraderie, are found in Barry Levinson's 1982 film, Diner.[18] In that film, a group of six male friends struggle with growing up and finding their way in the real world, while they have each other to support them along the way. A similar situation occurs in the films Kicking and Screaming (1995) and The Hangover (2009).[18]

With John Hamburg's I Love You Man the genre seems to have reached a particular apogee, as the film goes very far in its depiction of bromance, while receiving many excellent reviews.[19][20][21][22] In it, Paul Rudd stars as Peter Klaven, who is about to get married to the love of his life, but he realizes that he doesn't have any male friends to serve as the best man at his wedding. Then he meets Jason Segel's character, Sydney, who is friendly and a great complement to Peter, but their bromance starts to impact the groom's relationship with his bride-to-be.

Broadway has borrowed the idea of the bromantic comedy from the movies and wedded it to the traditional musical form in The Book of Mormon and The Producers.[23]


The genre has its critics who accuse it of political incorrectness and a variety of insensitivities,[6][24] but the films are satires, and in that sense, the exposing of social ills may be considered to have some potentially positive effect.[16][25] A primary comedic target of the bromantic comedy is the idea that there is a "code" of male behavior that may tend to impede men from relating in a realistic or natural way with both men and women. Using satire and ridicule the films expose the flimsy ideology and the fears that are the basis of such "codes".[26][27] However, social critic David Hartwell concludes that beneath a facade of progressive and liberating motivation, the bromantic comedy genre is ultimately guilty of "perpetuating the ideologies it is trying (or pretending) to critique."[28]

Themes and elements of bromantic comedies

  • Male bonding and homosocial bonding[4]
  • Conflicts with heterosexual bonding[16]
  • Emphasis of platonic love and rejection of homoeroticism, and deliberate confusion of homosocial/homoerotic relationships[6]
  • There is a focus on male self-consciousness.[9]
  • An element in the plot that allows the men to go off on their own, away from the women, for example, the "man cave" of I Love You, Man, the males-only vacation of The Hangover, or the wedding activities involving the groomsmen in The Wedding Ringer[2][9][29]
  • Infantilism of the male characters[5]
  • Humor guards the boundary between what is acceptable or unacceptable in a guy's interests[9]
  • The humor often extends to being considered "rude" or "raunchy".[30][31]
  • The films may be referred to as "wacky".[9][19]
  • Misogynistic elements are often found in the film narrative[30][32]

Notable bromantic comedy films

See also


  1. ^ a b [1] Pattersen, John. "True Bromance". The Guardian. 10 April 2009
  2. ^ a b c d [2] Bookey, Mike. "Bromantic Comedy: Actors squeeze formulaic plot for all its laughs" The Source Weekly. March 25, 2009.
  3. ^ [3] Miriam Webster online dictionary
  4. ^ a b [4] RAMANUJAM, SRINIVASA. "Coming soon, a 'bromantic' comedy" The Hindu. March 3, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c DeAngelis, Michael. Reading the Bromance. Homosocial Relationships in Film and Television. Wayne State University Press. 2014. ISBN 9780814338988
  6. ^ a b c [5] Batyrefa, Amina. "Our romance with the "bromance"; No homo, man." The McGill Daily. January 19, 2013
  7. ^ "King of bromance: Judd Apatow" Independent. 19 August 2009.
  8. ^ Denby, David. "A Fine Romance; The new comedy of the sexes". The New Yorker. July 23, 2007.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j [6] Aisenberg, Joseph. Bright Lights Film Journal. July 31, 2009.
  10. ^ Shary, Timothy, author and editor. Millennial Masculinity: Men in Contemporary American Cinema. Wayne State University Press (2012) ISBN 978-0814334355
  11. ^ Text of Love's Labour's Lost at
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Tranquilli, Marrissa. "That Awkward Boredom: A Bromantic Comedy". The Cornell Daily Sun. February 7, 2014
  13. ^ Woudhuysen, H. R., ed. Love's Labours Lost (London: Arden Shakespeare, 1998): 61.
  14. ^ a b Cateridge, James. Film Studies For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons (2015) ISBN 9781118886533 page 120.
  15. ^ Setoodeh, Ramin. "Isn't It Bromantic?" Newsweek 8 June 2009: 73. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
  16. ^ a b c Alberti, John (March 2013). "'I Love You, Man': Bromances, the Construction of Masculinity, and the Continuing Evolution of the Romantic Comedy". Quarterly Review of Film and Video. 30 (2): 159–172. doi:10.1080/10509208.2011.575658.
  17. ^ Filippo, Maria San. The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television. Indiana University Press (2013) ISBN 9780253008923. Page 225-226.
  18. ^ a b c d Stewart, Sara. "'Awkward' Is the Latest Evolution in Bromantic Comedy." New York Post. N.p., 30 Jan. 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.
  19. ^ a b [7] Wilonsky, Robert. "I LOVE YOU MAN REACHES BROMANTIC COMEDY'S GREATEST HEIGHTS". The Village Voice. March 18, 2009
  20. ^ [8] Gleiberman, Owen. "I Love You, Man; review" Entertainment weekly March 18, 2009
  21. ^ [9] Metacritic. March 2009
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2015-06-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "I Love You, Man; review" Premier Magazine. March 2009
  23. ^ Viertel, Jack. The Secret Life of the American Musical; How Broadway Shows are Built. Sarah Crichton Books. (2016) ISBN 978-0374256920. page 15
  24. ^ [10] Freeman, Hadley. "The Once Mighty Bromance is Dead; and Get Hard Killed it". The Guardian. 1 April 2015
  25. ^ a b Baumgarten, Marjory. "The Interview; film review" The Austin Chronicle. January 2, 1015
  26. ^ Garfield, Robert. Breaking the Male Code: Unlocking the Power of Friendship. Gotham (2015) ISBN 978-1592409044.
  27. ^ DeAngelis, Michael. Radner, Hillary. Reading the Bromance: Homosocial Relationships in Film and Television. "Grumpy Old Men; Bros Before Hos". Wayne State University Press (2014) ISBN 9780814338995. Page 52.
  28. ^ [11] Hartwell, David B. True Bromance: Representation of Masculinity and Heteronormative Dominance in the Bromantic Comedy. University of North Texas (2013)
  29. ^ "The Wedding Ringer Review". IGN. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  30. ^ a b [12] Gilman, Greg." That Awkward Moment; Reviews: Is This Bromantic Comedy Actually Funny?" The Wrap. January 31, 2014
  31. ^ Ordona, Michael. "Wedding Ringer review: A bromantic comedy that goes there". SFGate. January 15, 2015.
  32. ^ DeAngelis, Michael. Reading the Bromance. Homosocial Relationships in Film and Television. Wayne State University Press (2014) ISBN 978-0814338988. According to DeAngelis, a difference between the "buddy film" and the "bromance" narrative is that "women are often treated misogynistically as loving yet controlling and annoying interferences whose demands must always be 'dealt with.'" And later DeAngelis describes this as a structure "central to bromance".
  33. ^ [13] "Needs More Gay… Bromantic Comedies". The Backlot. January 26, 2011
  34. ^ [14] Salto, Stephen. "SXSW 2009: THE 'IT' FACTOR; Bromance is in the air at the 'I Love You, Man' panel and 'Moon.'" Independent Film Channel. March 15, 2009
  35. ^ [15] Moore, Roger. "Movie review: 'Wedding Ringer' is an amusing bromantic comedy." The News & Observer. January 15, 2015
  36. ^ Bindley, Katherine. "Bromances aren't uncommon as guys delay marriage" The Seattle Times. April 7, 2008.
  37. ^ Sickels, Robert, D. 100 Entertainers Who Changed America: An Encyclopedia of Pop Culture Luminaries. ISBN 9781598848311. page 21
2009 Teen Choice Awards

The 2009 Teen Choice Awards were held on August 9, 2009, at the Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City, California. The event was hosted by the Jonas Brothers, Nick, Kevin and Joe, who also performed. Twilight took home most awards with the total of 10 wins out of 11 nominations, including Robert Pattinson winning Choice Male Hottie. Miley Cyrus presented Britney Spears with the Ultimate Choice Award.

Adam Reid (filmmaker)

Adam Reid is an American writer and film director and co-founder of Bodega Studios. His film Hello Lonesome won numerous film festival awards as well as a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination. He is also the author of the book The Adventures of Barry & Joe.

American Hero (film)

American Hero is a 2015 American-British superhero comedy-drama film written and directed by Nick Love. It stars Stephen Dorff as a hard-partying alcoholic with telekinetic powers who, after a life-changing event, resolves to follow a more heroic lifestyle. Screen Media Films released it in the US on December 11, 2015.


A bromance is a close but non-sexual relationship between two or more men. It is an exceptionally tight, affectional, homosocial male bonding relationship exceeding that of usual friendship, and is distinguished by a particularly high level of emotional intimacy. The emergence of the concept since the beginning of the 21st century has been seen as reflecting a change in societal perception and interest in the theme, with an increasing openness of Western society in the 21st century to reconsider gender, sexuality, and exclusivity constraints.

Bromance (disambiguation)

A bromance is a close but non-sexual relationship between two or more men.

Bromance may also refer to:

"Bromance" (Avicii song), a 2010 single by Swedish DJ and producer Avicii, working under the stage name Tim Berg

Bromance (TV series), a 2008 MTV reality series

Bromance (2015 TV series), a 2015 Taiwan drama series

Bromantic comedy, a film genre

Buddy film

The buddy film is a film genre in which two (or on occasion, more than two) people—often both men—are put together. The two often contrast in personality, which creates a different dynamic onscreen than a pairing of two people of the opposite gender. The contrast is sometimes accentuated by an ethnic difference between the two. The buddy film is commonplace in American cinema; unlike some other film genres, it endured through the 20th century with different pairings and different themes.

Romantic comedy

Romantic comedy (portmanteaus: romedy, romcom or lovecome) is a genre with lighthearted, humorous plot lines centered on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles. One dictionary definition is "a funny movie, play, or television program about a love story that ends happily". Another definition suggests that its "primary distinguishing feature is a love plot in which two sympathetic and well-matched lovers are united or reconciled".Romantic comedy films are a certain genre of comedy films as well as of romance films, and may also have elements of screwball comedies. However, a romantic comedy is classified as a film with two genres, not a single new genre. Some television series can also be classified as romantic comedies.

In a typical romantic comedy the two lovers tend to be young, likeable, and seemingly meant for each other, yet they are kept apart by some complicating circumstance (e.g., class differences, parental interference, a previous girlfriend or boyfriend) until, surmounting all obstacles, they are finally reunited. A fairy-tale-style happy ending is a typical feature.

Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie – Romance

The following is a list of Teen Choice Award winners and nominees for Choice Movie - Romance. It was formally awarded under different titles and separate categories: Choice Movie - Date Movie in 2004 and 2005, Choice Movie - Chick Flick from 2006 to 2008, Choice Movie - Bromantic Comedy in 2009 and Choice Movie - Romantic Comedy in 2008, 2010 and 2011 before being retitled to its current title from 2009 in 2012.

True Bromance

True Bromance is a 2012 film directed by Sebastian Doggart and starring Devin Ratray, Adrian Grenier, Jim Norton, Condoleezza Rice, Frank Luntz, and Carol Connors It explores the absurd advice that friends and family give when someone falls in love. It follows Ratray's quest to win the heart of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Yamamotoyama Ryūta

Ryūichi Yamamoto (山本 龍一, Yamamoto Ryūichi, born May 8, 1984), known by his shikona Yamamotoyama Ryūta (山本山 龍太), or simply Yama, is a Japanese retired sumo wrestler from the city of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture. He made his professional debut in January 2007, and reached the top makuuchi division in January 2009. His highest rank was maegashira 9. At 265 kg (584 lb), Yamamotoyama is the heaviest Japanese-born sumo wrestler in history, and is also thought to be the heaviest Japanese person ever. In April 2011, he was told to retire by the Japan Sumo Association after he and several other wrestlers were found to be involved in match-fixing. He now lives in Los Angeles and participates in sumo exhibitions and amateur tournaments, often alongside Ulambayaryn Byambajav.

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