Pop quiz: when is it okay for two male friends to share dessert at a restaurant?
(a) When separate forks are used;
(b) When the dessert is split in half;
(c) When the dessert is split in half and served on separate plates;
(e) Never ever.
Time’s up. If your answer wasn’t “d” or “e” - and frankly, “e” is preferred - then you likely need a remedial course in Guy Code, the unwritten rules governing platonic male friendships, a set of mores enjoying an ongoing moment in the pop culture sun that continues with the new film “50/50.”
Rule No. 22: Never be serious when you can be flippant.
Rule No. 56: Go for a jog together. Not a walk.
For American men, the Guy Code is like the Force in “Star Wars”: It surrounds us. Guides us. Binds our social universe together. The Code is fodder for standup routines and sociological research, online debates and beer commercials.
As a subtext, it also informs the new film “50/50.”
A humorous, semi-autobiographical account of actor and writer Will Reiser’s mid-20s cancer diagnosis, “50/50” largely deals with how two male friends struggle to cope with sickness and mortality.
Adam undergoes chemotherapy. He has girlfriend problems. He prepares for last-ditch, lifesaving surgery. In response, the two friends drink beer, crack jokes, smoke weed and … crack more jokes. At one point, Kyle even takes Adam to a bar to pick up girls, using cancer as a romantic hook.
At no point do the two friends share a deep conversation, a good cry or - heaven forbid - a slice of pie, even when they have the munchies.View Entire Story
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Patrick Hruby is an award-winning journalist who holds degrees from Georgetown and Northwestern. He also contributes to ESPN.com and The Atlantic Online, and his work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing. Follow him on Twitter (@patrick_hruby) and contact him at PatrickHruby.net.
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