April 1, 2009

I Love You, Man.

A couple of weeks ago Stephanie and I went to see I Love You, Man (rated R for anyone who cares). So far this is my favorite movie of 2009. Not that it will stay that way but so far this year the movies I have seen are really sub par.

Okay, so what makes this movie so good? Basically it is a guy movie with a small love story mixed in. I know there are all sorts of "guy movies" out there. This one may have invented a new sub-genre though. The term being thrown around in the media is "bromance". I hate that term so that will be the last time I put it on my blog, anywhere. I digress.

What really makes this movie great is how relatable it is. It is really about a couple of guys that are at a point in their lives where they both have pretty much everything they want but friendship. The one guy has a bachelor lifestyle that he seems to be content with. The other is living his lifelong dream of getting married. The only problem is that now that they both have their lives pretty much the way they want them they don't have anyone to share their life with. They don't really have a close friend. And that is what makes this movie relatable, at least to me.

Now I'm not saying that I don't have friends. I have a lot of friends. Why I can relate to it is because of circumstances. Let me relate a story to illustrate.

Around the time I was married a lot of my friends were also getting married. Those that weren't were going through some changes of other kinds. The friends that were really close to me, those that I spent my time with and shared my life with, were really out of touch for what felt to be a long time. In retrospect I can see that the actual time involved was more like 6-9 months, starting at the day I got married.

I can remember that there were many nights where Stephanie and I would sit up in bed and I would complain to her how, though I loved spending time with her, I was kind of sad that I didn't get to hang out with the guys anymore. It was really difficult because there are a lot of things you can do with a bro that you can't do with a wife. This was illustrated in the movie by the music of Rush. For me it was StarCraft and talking about women (it's important to note that even married men talk about women, especially their wives).

Some time after my brother got married my wife and I devised a plan. See Josh's house had a washer and dryer and ours didn't. So we begged our way over to "do laundry". It often turned into games of Empire Earth until 3AM. Luckily I married a person who is supportive of anything with the word "party" in it LAN or otherwise.

As word of these late night games spread my friends and I started to have our bro time again. It was sort of on and off for years but most of the time it was dependent upon living spaces and proximity to one another.

Previous to moving to Anaheim I enjoyed what was probably the most regular hang out time since before we all got married. We enjoyed a rather large and comfy apartment in SugarHouse for a couple of years and eventually a close proximity to Josh and Brandon. This coupled with the invention of the game Rock Band, which our women could all get into as well, turned out to be some of the best hang out times in my adult life.

Okay, the long story illustrated that men (and women) need friends. We need time to be men. So any wives or girlfriends out there keep this in mind. Encourage your men to have "Man Time". It's going to make him happy and by extension you. Plus he won't be as jealous of you when you and your friends go to the mall or whatever it is your friends do together. And if you need more convincing go see I Love You, Man. Ignore the swears.

Lars