By: Shane Sullivan
Over the past decade stars like Seth Rogan, James Franco, and Will Ferrell have dominated the comedy movie landscape, but one movie in particular flies criminally under the radar. I love you, man. Those three simple words, plus the “man” of course, is the apex of the bromantic relationship. In 2009 a movie came out starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, and Rashida Jones that captured this beautiful type of bond with that exact name. This movie was iconic to me growing up and in high school. “slappin da bass,” “bro Naismith,” and “totes magotes” all became common in my vocabulary. If it’s so iconic than, why is it underrated you may ask? Well, that’s because it doesn’t get the credit it deserves, the credit for making the bromance cool.
When I was growing up the term “bro” always sounded pretty terrible to me. The only thing it made me think of was the stereotypical surfer guy, and being from Philadelphia, I don’t know any surfer guys. But then one day somewhere around 2010 I watched this movie and my whole perspective on it changed. Suddenly close friends were calling me Bro Pesci, Tom Brody, Terrell Browens, and I found myself calling them back names like Barack Brobama, Brophrah Winfrey, and Brope John Paul II. It was like all of a sudden this word became the penultimate sign of a best friendship, and it was glorious.
How did I Love You, Man convince a generation of guys to not be ashamed of their bromances? It all starts with Peter Klaven and Sydney Fife. Peter Klaven carries this movie on his back at times with his unbelievably awkward demeanor and being maybe the softest person on the planet. A great scene that sums up Peter is after he meets Sydney for the first time. Peter sits in his office and kicks around the idea of giving him a call, reciting to himself what it is he’s going to say to him. If you’ve ever been in the 8th Grade and wanted to ask a girl out (this typically involved an AIM message, probably sent by one of your buddies and not even you, and almost always failed miserably) than you can relate to this scene. The message he ends up leaving Sydney is a train wreck, any normal person would realistically never return that call, but Sydney Fife is not any normal person. So the two end up going out and really hit it off, and these two interactions with one another is the true highlight of the movie. Before Sydney, Peter had no balance between his love life and his friends (mostly because he had no friends). After they meet however, Peter goes full Mr. Brightside and comes out of his cage. He screams underneath the boardwalk to feel better, he slaps some real bass and even some air bass in front of his fiancé (remember, air bass always looks best up high), and he let’s loose in Sydney’s Temple of Doom. Sydney showed Peter, and ourselves along with him, that the bromance is something to be embraced.
Kanye West (the GOAT) once said, on the song Family Business, that “you can still love ya man’s and be manly dog.” Ultimately, this is the message that Peter Klaven and Sydney Fife send. So next time your hanging out with the guys and somebody calls out “pass me a beer Hulk Brogan,” get them the damn beer and say, “I Love You, Man.”