“I have been and always shall be your friend.”
Spock couldn’t just come right out and tell Capt. Kirk that he loved him. It wasn’t in his green blood. But the above line, from the Vulcan’s death scene in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” proved what we always knew to be true: Spock and Kirk are the best examples of guy love in the universe.
(Well, maybe the second-best. More on “The Shawshank Redemption” later …)
Some see the new “Star Trek” movie as science fiction. Others will enjoy it for the action. I see this prequel as the beginning of the most epic example of a true bromance.
Not to be mistaken with the watered-down false bromances appearing in the movies and on television in recent years. “I Love You, Man,” still in a few theaters, tried to be the definitive statement on the subject.
But the relationship between Peter Klaven and Sydney Fife in that movie seemed rushed, and Peter made it clear that he would choose his wife’s best interests over those of his friend.
The same goes for Turk and J.D. from TV’s “Scrubs,” who once performed a musical tribute to their guy love. (“It’s like I married my best friend/But in a totally manly way.”) Fear may be the motivating factor, but Turk’s wife is his first priority.
True bromance means never having to say “See you after my honeymoon is over.”
Spock and Kirk’s relationship lasted for 78 television-show episodes and eight movies. And you never saw either one spend more than 44 minutes with a girlfriend. They seemed to take so much pleasure in each other’s company that no woman could substitute.
While bromance wannabe Han Solo didn’t even have a conversation with Chewbacca before he abandoned their bachelor’s paradise for Princess Leia, Kirk and Spock were committed to growing old together, without interference or distraction.
Below are some more true and false bromances in popular culture.
False: Maverick and Goose. These “Top Gun” pilots, played by Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards, are one of the most oft-cited examples of bromance — highlighted by their bodies-glistening-in-the-sun volleyball game.
But don’t let their special high-five distract you from the fact that Mav bailed on that match for Kelly McGillis. Maybe if he spent more time studying aerodynamics and less time snogging the “Witness” chick, their plane doesn’t get sucked into the jet wash and Goose is still around to sing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.”
True: Thomas Magnum and Higgins. Thomas Magnum was in TV’s first polygamous bromance, with relationships going on with Rick, T.C. and Higgins.
But he definitely had the most chemistry with Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, the stuffy keeper of Robin Masters’ estate. They bickered constantly — Kirk and Spock’s relationship seemed uncomplicated by comparison — but were there for each other when it counted.
True: Hawkeye and Trapper. Sure, war is hell. But what guy who lived in the 1970s didn’t fantasize about living in the Swamp, nursing his functional alcoholism while one-night-standing through a seemingly endless supply of nurses?
The only thing that could make it better? A friend like Trapper John, who doesn’t mind if you walk around with your robe open and who shares your love of latrine-themed practical jokes.
False: Hawkeye and BJ. While much was made of Hawkeye Pierce’s friendship with BJ Hunnicutt, it was a total rebound relationship. When BJ wasn’t writing a letter to his wife, Peg, he was whining about how long it had been since he received a letter from Peg, or griping about the contents of the latest letter from Peg.
Writing “GOODBYE” with stones was a nice gesture, but we’re guessing that Pierce couldn’t wait to get stateside and hang with Trapper again.
True: Andy Dufresne and Red Redding. “The Shawshank Redemption” is the “Romeo and Juliet” of bromances, except with a happier ending and less iambic pentameter. At times the movie seems to exist in a world without women — there are exactly three in this movie, and none of them even have names.
Red is in prison for 40 years, and what does he do after getting paroled? Go to a bar and pick up a special lady? Rent some porn? He hikes up to a pretty field so he can read a letter from Andy.