They meet. There’s an instant connection. They start spending time together and things seem to be going well. Everyone around agrees it’s a match made in heaven. Then, for some odd reason, it starts to fall apart leaving everyone wondering where it went wrong. No, I’m not describing the latest celebrity romance or a rom-com cliché. I’m actually referring to, what I lovingly call, the Hollywood Bromance.
You can trace the origins of the Hollywood Bromance way back; one of my favorites from yesteryear being the coupling of director John Huston and his star of choice, Humphrey Bogart. Huston and Bogie made six films together during their respective careers including The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, and my personal favorite, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. With a combined love for hard booze and hard living, there’s no wonder why their frequent collaborations were cinematic gold.
These days we see the Hollywood Bromance epitomized by the likes of Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio and Tim Burton/Johnny Depp. It’s not hard to see why filmmakers like to stick with certain actors. When you reach a certain level of success, it’s natural to go by the motto “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The problem I see nowadays, though, is that there is too much of a good thing. Not long ago, at the mere mention of Burton and Depp collaborating I erupted into film geek glee. With the recent release of the mediocre Dark Shadows, I have to face facts. Change is good. I will always hold a special place in my heart for the Burton and Depp of years ago that made Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood. I’m not denying that the two have an incredible partnership, as have Scorsese and DiCaprio with films like Gangs of New York and The Departed.
But sometimes, just like when a relationship isn’t working and you can’t figure out why, you have to take a step back and see what else is out there. Scorsese and DiCaprio seem to have adjusted just fine with this. After the extremely disappointing Shutter Island (a twist ending really isn’t that twisty when you can call it 15 minutes into the flick), they both have gone on to great work. Scorsese’s Hugo won 5 Oscars, and Dicaprio’s Chris Nolan venture, Inception, was brilliant, plain and simple. I hear now that they will be once again joining forces for a film called The Wolf of Wall Street. Having spent some time apart, it’s quite possible the bromance can be rekindled anew.
It’s great when directors find quality actors that they enjoy creating roles for. Many directors, like Chris Nolan and Wes Anderson, reuse performers over and over, but they’re usually cast in supporting roles and with the focus less on one particular star, it tends to work. I’ll always be a fan of the Bromance. But guys, I think it’s time you see other people.