To dip a finger into America’s conscience, all you need to do is check the films coming out of Hollywood. With the rise of the so-called “bromance”—territory staked out by Judd Apatow and settled by the likes of Todd Phillips—you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’ve finally embraced the idea of men having important relationships with each other.
But the thing is, in movies like I Love You, Man and The Hangover, the bromance is just as much a bulwark against invading forces, whether they be of women or adulthood, as it is anything significant in its own right. This does not appear to be the case with Five Friends.
Instead, Five Friends, written and directed by Erik Santiago, documents the friendships of a 65-year-old Southern Californian named Hank—bonds formed in the march toward maturity and the trials that come with anyone reaching his mid-60s. Also featuring interviews with a SUNY Stonybrook sociologist and a California pastor, the film looks to cast an honest eye at the nature of true male friendship, the cultural difficulties in finding it, and what friendship means to real American men.
Considering male friendship outside the comforts of comedy hasn’t been done enough. Here’s to Five Friends for that.