The 10 Greatest ‘Bromance’ Movies
Urban Dictionary defines bromance as “the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males.” The relationship between male friends has, until recently, been explored far less often than those of female characters, though the relationships can be just as close and face many of the same challenges. Often torn apart by women, a well-tended bromance teaches male characters (and viewers) about love and friendship, and ultimately, themselves. Here are our 10 favorite movie bromances; if you haven’t seen them all, then you’d better cancel those weekend plans, grab a sixer and invite your best bro over for a bro movie marathon.
‘I Love You, Man’
In what is possibly the most epic bromance origin story ever, socially inept “girlfriend guy” Peter (Paul Rudd) meets Sydney (Jason Segel) at a showing of Lou Ferrigno’s mansion, and they bond over a shared love of the band Rush. Rush jam sessions in Sydney’s “man cave” show Peter just how much he was missing by not having a main dude in his life. When their epic bro-down endangers Peter’s future marriage, though, Peter ends the bromance, and rescinds Sydney’s wedding invitation.
In the end, the two reunite (with Sydney’s dramatic wedding entrance via moped), both wiser — and closer — friends. Plus, the film concludes at the wedding reception, where the two perform Rush’s “Limelight” on stage. Nothing says bro love like a Rush duet.
They laughed. They cried. They hurled. They bromanced.
Two star-crossed slackers, Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey), are hosts of the Aurora, IL cable access show, ‘Wayne’s World.’ When the show is scooped up by shady producer Benjamin (Rob Lowe), Wayne gets majorly distracted by rocker babe Cassandra (Tia Carrere), and the budding romance drives a wedge between the two metal-loving bros.
The best bromances make you feel empowered, and when “psycho hose beast” ex-girlfriend pregnancy claims and house fires interrupt the movie’s triumphant ending, Wayne and Garth take control and give themselves a “mega happy” ending. In the end, Cassandra gets a record deal, Wayne gets a kiss, Benjamin gets a heart and Garth gets a dream babe. Schwing!
Sometimes, bromance begins early in life. In the 2007 hit comedy ‘Superbad,’ Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are two unpopular virgins on the cusp of high school graduation who have been best friends since childhood.
When the object of Seth’s affection, Jules (Emma Stone), invites him to her house party, Seth volunteers to bring the booze using Fogel’s (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) fake ID. Though the terrible “McLovin” ID does actually work, the plan is interrupted by a robbery.
The night goes sour quickly, and eventually Evan picks a fight with Seth, revealing that he resents Seth for making him anti-social. But after many antics involving accidental headbutts and a pair of slacker cops played by Seth Rogen and Bill Hader, Seth and Evan realize that their friendship is stronger than any romance. Of course, they still end up with girlfriends in the end.
‘Internship’ isn’t the first bromance rodeo for Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn — they’ve been in cinematic dude-love with each other for years.
In 2005’s ‘Wedding Crashers,’ John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince) bond over their shared enthusiasm for crashing weddings and picking up emotionally vulnerable female guests. (Such class acts!) When they up the ante and decide to attend the wedding of the US Secretary of the Treasury’s daughter, complications of the heart tear the two apart.
Sometimes it takes a wiser bro to mend a broken bromance, and so it’s their wedding-crasher mentor Chazz Reinhold (Will Ferrell) to the rescue. He convinces John to crash a funeral, where John sees a grieving wife and realizes how important love is. He rushes to John’s wedding, and the bromance is rekindled.
‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’
A classic example of the genre, this 1969 film tells the loosely true story of 1890s outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Longabaugh, or Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and “The Sundance Kid” (Robert Redford).
After a train robbery goes sour, the two set out on the run together. Accompanied by Sundance’s lover Etta, the duo escapes to Bolivia to continue a life of crime. They become known as “Los Bandidos Yanquis,” but after a few close-calls, decide to try the straight life. On their first day on the job as payroll guards for a mining company the two are attacked by bandits, whom they kill. That’s a little too much bromance for Etta, who promptly heads back to the States.
The movie concludes with Butch and Sundance in a standoff with Bolivian soldiers. Butch suggests they “try Australia next,” and the last shot goes all “buddy movie” with a freeze frame of the BFFs charging the soldiers, guns blazing. Lesson: Never underestimate the power of a well-armed bromance.
In the 1991 film ‘Point Break,’ FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is eager to prove himself and sets out to find a group of bank robbers by pretending to be a surfer. Utah is pretty sure the robbers are surfers because of all the sand and board wax they’re always leaving at crime scenes. (He’s a really good FBI agent, you see.)
When Utah meets Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), he begins to see the appeal of surfer life. The rest of the movie kind of plays out like a best friends-style montage full of surfing, sky diving, campfires and bank robberies. Cutest bromance ever?
No bromance list would be complete without a “buddy cop” movie, and this one is one of our favorites.
Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is a London cop with a reputation for producing results; the man is a crime-fighting machine, basically. When he’s transferred to the small town of Sanford, his new sloppy, action-movie loving partner Danny (Nick Frost) has the most exciting day of his law enforcement career when two decapitated bodies are found in the sleepy town.
In a meta nod to the great bromances of history, the two watch ‘Point Break’ and ‘Bad Boys II’ together, making their life-long bond pretty inevitable.
‘The Bucket List’
In this 2007 tear-yanker, Edward (Jack Nicholson) is a billionaire who ends up sharing a hospital room with Carter (Morgan Freeman). After they are both given a terminal diagnosis, the unlikely pair bond over their shared fates, and set off on an adventure to check things off of their “bucket lists.”
Edward and Carter travel the world together on Edward’s dime, jumping out of planes, driving race cars and contemplating the ethics involved in terminal illness-motivated adultery.
Though their bromance is doomed to be short-lived, it is actually strengthened by their expiration dates. Thanks to the looming specter of the Grim Reaper, his unlikely pair ends up becoming closer than they ever imagined.
In 1987, a longtime bromance began with the first ‘Lethal Weapon’ movie. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is unwillingly partnered with loose cannon Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), and it is definitely not bro-love at first sight. Over the course of four increasingly weird movies, their buddy cop love grows stronger.
Don’t even get us started on the sequel, where Murtaugh and Riggs somehow survive Joe Pesci. The third movie gets even more bizarre and awesome, with Riggs eating dog biscuits to “quit smoking.” Then in 1998’s ‘Lethal Weapon 4,’ Chris Rock joins the lethal bromance fold. Still, Murtaugh and Riggs somehow remain friends through it all. How about a ‘Grumpy Old Men’-style reunion for a fifth outing?
‘Lord of the Rings’
The bromance between Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) began in 2001 with the first installment of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, and it only got more intense from there. Any friendship that survives the perilous dangers of a journey through Middle Earth toward Mount Doom with a cursed ring is a friendship for life.
In this case, the usual female wedge is replaced by Gollum (Andy Serkis), who tries to turn the two Hobbits against each other. In the end, bromance triumphs, and Sam ends up carrying his exhausted Brobbit pal up Mount Doom.
“Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!” Bro-swoon.