Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Differences Between a 'Homance' and a 'Bromance'

While reading reviews for the film Bridesmaids, I encountered the term “homance.” My immediate response was to google a “homance”, and the results were scarce. Urban dictionary offers two diverse definitions. It may mean a relationship between a pimp and his “ho”, but in the context of that article, it is supposed to be the female equivalent of a “bromance” or relationship between two straight males, that is “closer than friendship but less than a dating relationship.” Yet, a homance has different connotations than a bromance. 

When thinking about a bromance, the films, I Love You, Man, Pineapple Express, and The Hangover, come to mind. These characters are goofy, funny, and lovable. I think one reason why the term bromance is so popular is because it is an acceptable form of male friendship. These films have made bromances cool and funny as compared to a situation where two men are just hanging out together in regular friendship. Why? Well, there is still a stigma against two men being called gay if they spend too much time together. I would love a male perspective on this because I don't want to make generalizations.

When I think about a homance, I get stuck on the use of the term "ho" because I would never want to be called that. Why do women and men need to declare that they are in homances and bromances? My worry is that "homance" will become another word feminists need to reclaim after the media has used it to harm women and increase female competition. My inquiry about homances led me to a few articles about the current state of female relationships in films. While men bond through bromances in smash hits, women are tearing each other apart in films. For an example, take a look at Kate Hudson's new film, Something Borrowed. Could Bridesmaids be an exception or is it reinforcing a rule that women need to compete over beauty and men? I'll tell you what I think when I see it!


  1. My issue with Bridesmaids was that reviewers kept calling it "The Hangover for women," which to me sounded like a novel type of film focusing on female protagonists. I was disappointed because the film really only had one protagonist, and the rest of the bridesmaids were one-dimensional. Not that I was expecting the crazy wedding party to be really nuanced...but you get what I mean. And (I promise I'm not giving away too much information here) the movie basically ends up being your typical rom-com and follows every criteria for a storybook ending. I was hoping it would be a film following a group of female characters who can be just as goofy as their so-called male counterparts in The Hangover. It was still wickedly funny and absolutely worth seeing, but I was disappointed that it wasn't the buddy comedy I wanted to see. And on a different note, nothing really compares to The Hangover anyway.

  2. Thanks for your comment! I agree. I think they tried to advertise that it is the female version of The Hangover to get more people to see it. I haven't seen it yet, but based on the reviews, I think it is supposed to be more about the complex relationship between the two main, female protagonists that are best friends.