Poor Judd Apatow. He's a marquee name in Hollywood, has a gorgeous wife and adorably precocious daughters, and recently got to guest-edit Vanity Fair's annual Comedy Issue and interview personal heroes like Albert Brooks. The one thing he can't do, it seems, is get everybody feeling the pain of a wealthy white guy's midlife crisis.
Though I wouldn't admit it to just anyone, I really like Judd Apatow. Sure, he's partially responsible for comedy's obnoxiously named Frat Pack, and with it the continued celebration of adult men who act like bratty adolescents—but he also brought us Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids, and he appears to share my hardcore crush on Paul Rudd. Plus, Apatow is the rare sort of dude's dude who puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to supporting women in comedy. He's not batting a thousand by any means, but he's produced a fair share of work by women, and he generally seems like a pretty smart guy. That's why I was excited when Apatow was announced as the guest editor of this month's Vanity Fair. That excitement was a little premature.
While in Austin for SXSW, Kjerstin and I saw the highly anticipated (and highly publicized—there were posters all over town) Bridesmaids, a new potential blockbuster comedy from Judd Apatow, directed by Paul Feig and written by Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo. As the title suggests, it's about a woman (Wiig) whose best friend (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be the Maid of Honor at her upcoming wedding—Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Rose Byrne round out the cast as the titular bridesmaids. Bridal party formalities, bachelorette party wackiness, and bouts of barfing ensue. (We should note: We attended a "work in progress" screening, but Feig, who was in attendance along with Wiig, assured the audience that what we saw was basically a finished product.)
Maybe it was the hour-plus wait in line, the midnight showtime, or the beers we snuck in to the theater, but Kjerstin and I left this movie with distinctly different opinions.
Okay, okay. Before you and your platonic best friend get all up in arms, in no way does this week's Douchebag Decree have anything to do with friendships between people of any gender. Friendship is super and in no way douche-y, obviously. However, this week's dishonorable honor is being awarded to the term"bromance," which is on everyone's lips this summer (and for the past year) and is not doing male (or female) friendships any favors. For evidence of this, check out this CNN person-on-the-street video:
Finally platonic male relationships are getting media attention, right? Because it's not as if practically every single movie made for the past four decades has been about that very topic. Also, it's great that we as a culture have coined a precious term for this relationship, because it is not already revered enough by everyone. Also, IT'S TOTALLY NOT GAY AT ALL YOU GUYS. SERIOUSLY. REMEMBER THAT MEN WHO HAVE FRIENDS ARE NOT GAY. You know, because guys can't have close relationships that don't involve sex unless they can call it something that indicates its so-not-gay-ness. Sheesh.
Of course, men openly expressing their love for their platonic friends is a great thing, so maybe the term bromance isn't all that bad after all? If it takes a cheesy pun to encourage emotional openness, then so be it. Bromance is a complicated thing, right? Of course, it's still getting the Douchebag Decree, but maybe there is more to it than meets the eye. Read on for more bromantic info and to take a super bromantic poll!