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10 Great Movie Bromances

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It's a man-love thing: Empire's guide to some of the most loved-up movie buddies.

Top Gun

Movie Bromances

The Lovers: Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Iceman (Val Kilmer)
A classic hate-at-first-sight bromance, Maverick and Iceman's relationship is based on animosity, antipathy and a repressed mutual attraction. Iceman is the big daddy fighter ace; Maverick the hotshot getting up in his grille. Glowering glances are exchanged, lingering silences are deployed, while an audience yells, 'For God's sake, just kiss already!'

Most Bromantic Moment: As Tarantino famously noted in his Sleep With Me monologue, it comes at the end when Iceman, now a fully paid-up subscriber to the Maverick Fan Club, looks him in the eyes and tells him, with a hint of longing: "You can be my wingman any time."

Lethal Weapon 2

Movie Bromances The Lovers: Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover)
After a fractious start, wildman Riggs and family guy Murtaugh bonded at the end of the first Lethal Weapon. When we join them in the sequel, they've become fast friends, hanging out together virtually 24/7. OK, so it's not so much of a bromance as a father/son relationship, but when Murtaugh cradles a badly wounded Riggs at the end, it's a beautiful, tender thing.

Most Bromantic Moment: Murtaugh, sitting on a toilet that's been turned into a bomb, and Riggs narrowly escape the explosion by diving into a bathtub. Murtaugh, of course, has his pants around his ankles. It's like a West End farce.

Point Break

Movie Bromances The Lovers: Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) and Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves)
Possibly the ultimate bromance, brilliantly parodied by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz. The relationship between Bodhi, a spiritually inspired bank robber/surfer dude, and Utah, a naive FBI undercover agent who is 'young, dumb and full of cum' is just dripping with subtext (a man firing his gun into the air in frustation because he can't be with his best friend? Paging Doctor Freud!).

Most Bromantic Moment: "I know you want me so bad it's like acid in your mouth...," Bodhi taunts Utah after the latter is revealed to be a Fed. The Point Break precursor to "I wish I knew how to quit you..."

Shaun Of The Dead

Movie Bromances The Lovers: Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost)
In real life, Pegg refers to Frost as his 'heterosexual life partner' and that depth of friendship is brilliantly explored in Shaun Of The Dead. Shaun knows that his life would be so much easier, and more successful, if he got rid of the slobbish, idiotic deadweight around his neck — but without Ed, who would make him laugh by making rude gags about his mum, or by letting off a Silent But Deadly?

Most Bromantic Moment: The heart-wrenching climax, where an anguished Shaun tries to say goodbye to his dying BFF. "I love you, man!" cries Shaun. "Gaaaaaay!" deadpans Ed, in a perfect depiction of how uncomfortable some men can be with displays of genuine affection.

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

Movie Bromances The Lovers: Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith)
Like Pegg and Frost, Jay and Silent Bob refer to each other — well, one of them does — as 'my hetero-life-mate'. Their double-act developed over the course of four previous Smith films, but it was here, in his broadest and most outrageous comedy to date, where they took central stage, showcasing a relationship that was as messed-up as it was tender. They're the perfect duo.

Most Bromantic Moment: The whole thing. Theirs isn't a relationship where an excuse must be contrived for them to have an argument, just so they can reconcile later in an emotional scene with soaring strings. These guys stick with each other through thick, thin and really, awfully, very stupidly thick.

The Shawshank Redemption

Movie Bromances The Lovers: Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) and Ellis 'Red' Redding (Morgan Freeman)
Frank Darabont himself says he loves Shawshank because it's a beautiful exploration of male friendship. And that's absolutely right, for the bromance between Andy and Red is moving, extraordinarily nuanced and wonderfully realised. Unlike many of the other entries on our list, there are no romantic or homoerotic undertones to their friendship, even if it is ultimately more akin to a marriage. Instead, here are two men who quickly form a strong bond of mutual affection, with each becoming the other's rock for around 30 years. This is the sort of friendship — strong, unyielding, sometimes unspoken — that every guy wishes he could have.

Most Bromantic Moment: The unbearably moving climax, when a freshly-freed Red heads towards his friend. "I hope I can cross the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope." Note how Red's hat flies off his head into the surf as he walks along the beach toward Andy — and he doesn't even care.

Superbad

Movie Bromances The Lovers: Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera)
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's thinly-disguised recreation of their teen years (look at the character names, for Pete's sake) is a pitch-perfect evocation of that inevitable moment when the real world and outside distractions like booze and girls intrude upon a teenage friendship. The last shot, in particular, is about those first wobbly steps; the previous 110 minutes, though, are about two guys who are inseparable in the face of overwhelming odds, from bullies to the terrifying prospect of having sex. Their banter may be more sophisticated than most teenagers can manage, but Cera and Hill generate such genuine warmth and chemistry that it's impossible to hold that against them.

Most Bromantic Moment: The sleepover near the end when the two come this close to becoming the object of that old saying, "Everybody experiments in college". "I just wanna go to the rooftops and scream, 'I love my best friend, Evan!'"

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

Movie Bromances The Lovers: Er, Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford)
Partners in crime, quite literally, Butch and Sundance go through a lot together, getting themselves chased out of the Old West (via clifftop plunge) and heading off for a new life in Bolivia rather than risk being split up — in prison or elsewhere.

Most Bromantic Moment: The end, of course, with the pair refusing to abandon each other even in the face of certain death, rushing into a hail of bullets side-by-side, as ever.

Some Like It Hot

Movie Bromances The Lovers: Jazz musicians Jerry (Jack Lemon) and Joe (Tony Curtis)
These two live together, work together, pawn their coats together in the middle of a Chicago winter, and even witness a mass murder together. Why, the only way it could be more obvious that they're bromantically involved would be if they dressed up as women together. No, wait...

Most Bromantic Moment: Joe, aka Josephine, adjusting Jerry's, aka Daphne's, bosoms after a slight accident.

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