i Love You, Man isn't only a movie; it's the Brokeback Mountain of bromance (but not in a gay way), bringing dude love (not physical) out of the closet and onto the floor where real guys keep their clothes, anyway. Actor Paul Rudd and director/co-writer John Hamburg recently chatted with the Times about their watershed film. Without hesitation, they shared what they've learned about bromance, what they want the world to know.
Best place to pick up brofriends?
Rudd: It depends on what kind of male friend you're looking for. If you want to find a bro to watch March Madness with, I'd say go to the ESPN Zone (sports bar). But if you're looking for a bro to watch Antiques Roadshow with, maybe you can check out who's at Mitchell Gold (furniture stores).
Best bromantic pickup line?
Hamburg: That's tricky because a bromantic pickup can be misconstrued in many ways. Maybe something simple like: "Do you want to grab a beer?" That's a classic.
Rudd: What works for me is: "What's a guy like you doing in a massage parlor like this?"
After meeting a bro, who makes the next phone call?
Hamburg: You put the ball in the other guy's court. If he doesn't call back, he doesn't want you as a friend. He's just not that into you. He's got to initiate the second move, or else it's time to bail.
Are there any signals between bros to indicate interest?
Rudd: I don't think of bromances and man-dates in a gay or straight way. But I think you try to avoid taking a wide stance in an airport men's room, and tapping your foot. Other than that, just be yourself.
Hamburg: If Paul and I could've talked to that congressman in Minnesota, we could've told him so many other ways to just hang out with a buddy.
Your best man-date ever?
Hamburg: My friend, Tom McCarthy, is a movie director (The Visitor, The Station Agent) who owns a Vespa. He took me for a ride through the streets of New York and I clung to him like a koala bear to a eucalyptus tree. It really changed the dynamic of our friendship.
Rudd: My favorite bro-date was just hanging out with a friend of mine when we were in an Irish pub, drinking beer, watching football, and by the fourth quarter we decided to rent our own karaoke room. That's the space we inhabit.
Do bros have one-night stands?
Hamburg: Happens all the time. You hit it off with a dude and think this guy is going to be my best friend in the world, and you never hear from him again. It stings.
Paul, you're part of the Frat Pack, who are obviously bros. Ever any jealousy that one is funnier than the other, or Seth Rogen is hanging out more with Jonah Hill?
Rudd: With those bros in particular, there's none of that. The binding thing is that we all do comedy and we're all rooting for the other guy. There's only the competition for hanging out. They live in California and I live in New York and I'm married. So, generally it's just e-mailing — a long distance bromance. That can work. You're either on the same sunbeam, or not.