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Allison Stinson Dr.

Guenzel ENC 1102-0014 March 14, 2014

Analysis of Bromances, Masculinity and Romantic Comedies

What do you get when you mix a romantic comedy and a buddy movie? A bromance film. This emerging sub genre of the romantic comedy which highlights the pseudo homosexual relationships between two heterosexual men is analyzed in John Alberti's article "'I Love You, Man': Bromances, The Construction Of Masculinity, And The Continuing Evolution Of The Romantic Comedy". In this article Alberti looks into how these movies redefine traditional masculinity in film and how this is evolving the Romantic Comedy genre. By analyzing films by Judd Apatow (the leader of the modern bromance) Alberti looks into how men are becoming defined by their sexuality and how having these friendships with other men may strengthen his confidence in his sexual desire toward women. This article is a peer-reviewed journal article so this suggests that it is aimed toward higher level education within it's audience. Alberti also uses a multitude of examples from films, so a minor knowledge of modern US cinema may be required. While the subject matter may be more geared towards men, this topic coincides greatly with women's studies and parallels looks into the role of femininity in movies. Alberti himself shapes his argument by starting very vague and then whittling it down until he has specific examples and a highly specialized argument to that example. He starts with history and then moves to the modern romantic comedy before tackling the issue of bromances. Building upon this foundation starts adding the Alpha vs. Beta male type and how this difference is highlighting more on men's confusing over sexual desire, not just women. He uses the example of the film I Love You, Man in order to give a presentation of men who have a obsession with being confident in their sexual desire but not being able to accomplish that until they have emotionally stabilized themselves (this through a declaration of love for their male friend the "I love you, man). And while the men are heterosexual having this pseudo sexual relationship befits their actual relationships. Alberti compares these characters to a less idealized romantic other but they have a fluidity of changing from Alpha to a Beta or vise versa that is not commonly found in traditional romantic comedies. Every detail that he brings up either builds upon or brings back a already mentioned topic so that the process remains recursive in it's ability to reinforce itself.

Yet, even with the use of a plethora of examples Alberti also calls upon multiple points of views in order to refute his own claims. He repeatedly either refutes those claims based on an example he provides or he quantifies these statements in order to support his own argument. Overall though Alberti keeps his argument of masculinity and sexual desire within these films on a example basis. This approach while supportive doesn't always work because if the reader had never seen these films they could become lost if they are not described explicitly such as in the beginning of the article when he brings up how 40 year old virgin will fit within the realms of men wrestling with trying to understand women and their sexual desire but doesn't expand on it until multiple paragraphs later. The Masculine identity within film is changing and evolving in order to match the current social climate so Alberti claims that we may see a rise in the bromance genre in the years to come, but only time will tell.

Citation:

Alberti, John. "'I Love You, Man': Bromances, The Construction Of Masculinity, And The Continuing Evolution Of The Romantic Comedy." Quarterly Review Of Film And Video 30.2 (2013): 159-172.MLA International Bibliography. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.