The Age of 'Bromance'

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Scene from I Love You, Man
Scene from the film "I Love You, Man."

American pop culture and movies are full of male buddy tales that go way back. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby on the road. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid — Newman and Redford — on the run. George Clooney and Brad Pitt cracking safes and knocking over casinos.

Male friendship, male bonding, are hardly new. But there's a new vocabulary in play these days, mashing up male friendship and old-fashioned romance. "Bromance" is hot. "Mancrush." "Mandate."

The new film "I Love You, Man" brims with a new kind of buddy talk. So, what is "bromance"? And is something really changing?

Up next On Point: Male bonding, American male friendship, in the age of “bromance.”

You can join the conversation. Are male friendships changing? Loosening up? Mattering more? What does bromance mean to you?Guests:

Joining us from Baltimore, Maryland, is Geoffrey Greif, author of "Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships." He’s a professor at the University of Maryland and blogs on male friendships for Psychology Today.

From Montreal, Canada, we're joined by Robert Heasley, president of the American Men’s Studies Association. He's in Montreal for the 17th Annual Conference on Men and Masculinities. He’s an associate professor of sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic.

Watch the trailer for "I Love You, Man" here:

The Boston Globe's Christopher Muther writes about bromance today in a piece called "Man enough for bromance."

This program aired on April 2, 2009.


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