one for the guys

Steve Carell and Paul Rudd try to rekin­dle the bro­mance genre.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PEOPLE - By RAFER GUZ­MAN

TRUE ro­mance will never die. But bro­mance? Well, that’s a dif­fer­ent story. One of the most pop­u­lar movie gen­res of the past decade, the bro­mance – that is, a love story be­tween res­o­lutely het­ero­sex­ual men – seems to be fiz­zling.

Re­cent ex­am­ples like Get Him To The Greek and Funny Peo­ple un­der­per­formed at the box of­fice, and the stars who once de­fined the genre are seek­ing out other roles (Seth Ro­gen as a su­per­hero?).

This sum­mer’s movie sched­ule has been lean­ing on tween-ori­ented fan­tasies like Twi­light and The Sor­cerer’s Ap­pren­tice, with seem­ingly fewer dude-meets-dude come­dies.

Where does that leave Din­ner For Schmucks, due in Malaysian cine­mas this Thurs­day? The film stars two bro­mance vet­er­ans, Steve Carell ( The 40-Year-Old Vir­gin) and Paul Rudd ( I Love You, Man).

Rudd plays a cor­po­rate climber whose cruel-hu­moured boss hosts a din­ner party where the goal is to in­vite the biggest cretin; Carell plays the po­ten­tial win­ner, a so­cial mis­fit whose hobby is dress­ing dead mice in elab­o­rate cos­tumes.

Based on a 1998 French com­edy, Din­ner For Schmucks may be prop­erly clas­si­fied as an an­noy­ing-friend movie, much like 1987’s Planes, Trains And Au­to­mo­biles, which starred Steve Martin as the up­tight ca­reer man and

John Candy as the overtalkative bum­bler.

But Din­ner For Schmucks also ad­heres to the mod­ern bro­mance for­mula: The men meet, grow close, break up and – spoiler alert! – fall back into each other’s arms.

That for­mula may have reached its peak in 2007, when Su­per­bad, spear­headed by Judd Apa­tow – the writer-di­rec­tor-pro­ducer who prac­ti­cally in­vented the bro­mance – grossed US$121mil (RM387mil), ac­cord­ing to Box­Of­fice­Mojo.

More re­cent en­tries haven’t per­formed as well. Apa­tow’s Funny Peo­ple was one of last year’s biggest dis­ap­point­ments, gross­ing only US$51mil (RM163mil).

And while For­get­ting Sarah Mar­shall grossed US$63mil (RM202mil) in 2008, its spinoff, this year’s Get Him To The Greek, eked out just US$58mil (RM179mil).

What’s more, the stars of these movies seem in­creas­ingly keen to leave them be­hind. Ro­gen, the quin­tes­sen­tial bro­man­tic lead­ing man, has slimmed down to play a su­per­hero in the com­ing The Green Hornet.

Jonah Hill, of Su­per­bad, is cur­rently star­ring

as an in­se­cure mama’s boy in the com­e­dy­drama Cyrus. And Michael Cera, Hill’s cud­dle

mate in Su­per­bad, has been grav­i­tat­ing to­ward teen love sto­ries – with ac­tual girls –

like Youth In Re­volt and the ac­tion-com­edy Scott Pil­grim Vs The World.

There are a few bro­mance-style films due for re­lease this year, but they seem like throw­backs to older, more fa­mil­iar for­mu­las.

The Other Guys (open­ing in Malaysia on Oct 14), casts Will Fer­rell and Mark Wahlberg as mis­matched cops.

And there is Due Date, a road-trip com­edy with Robert Downey Jr as an ex­pec­tant fa­ther trav­el­ling with a dis­as­ter-prone wacko (Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis, also in Din­ner For Schmucks).

Does this mean we’re see­ing the re­turn of the old-fash­ioned buddy-film, with less overt emo­tion and more gruff shoul­der-punch­ing? If so, the bro­mance may be headed back into the closet. – News­day/McClatchy-Tribune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

Steve Carell (left) and Paul Rudd star in Din­ner

For Schmucks.

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