Directed by: Nicholas Stoller

Written by: Billy Eichner & Nicholas Stoller

Starring: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Ts Madison, Monica Raymund, Guillermo Diaz

Rating: [3.5/5]

Historical firsts represent a mixed bag in the way they indicate history but when it comes to representation it can be saddening that it took so long for this to be achieved. It sets an unfair bar for this first to clear in the way it needs to be wholly representative and successful. Bros entered with this weight on its shoulder and the film reckons with its importance while also being an incredibly enjoyable romantic comedy all at once. A good balancing act. 

Single and doubtful that he will ever find love, Bobby (Billy Eichner) finds pride and joy in launching the new National LGBTQ+ History Museum in Manhattan. In preparation for this opening and the expectations surrounding it, he meets Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) and sparks a non-commital romance with him. As they continue to bond their baggage comes to the forefront and threatens to damage the hope for a future together. 

A studio-produced romantic comedy centered on gay men presented a new opportunity for representation and it gave give Billy Eichner the impossible task of making it all work. It comes with the expectation of being funny, romantic, accurately representative of the LGBTQ+ community, and also making money. While this feature did not succeed in all of its aspects, it undoubtedly excelled in most of them seeing as Bros proves to be incredibly funny and enjoyable as a whole. 

With the importance it holds, this feature is incredibly self-aware of the larger audience who would see this movie and how it presents the opportunity to go into the history of the LGBTQ+ community. It also delves into the fighting within the community of what represents the proper exploration and celebration of this group of individuals. The film manages to get into the niche of the community while also creating an open door for others to learn and enjoy the story as well. Eichner’s screenplay does a strong job of piecing it together. Others may feel it’s preachy, but what he had to accomplish required this and it makes for various funny moments. 

Highlighted in this feature is the specificity of hookup culture for gay men in New York City. The film opens with Bobby exchanging messages that can be barely described as a conversation, which then leads to a sexual encounter to then never see the individual again. Rinse and repeat leaving no hope for something that will last after that initial meeting. It really sums up just how simple men can be and how these “relationships” can be devoid of emotions when it’s just dudes dictating this back and forth. It makes it difficult to find a monogamous relationship when the culture has more interest in the next sexual encounter and not settling down with someone you can call your own. Bobby seeks this and he believes he found it with Aaron after initial skepticism. 

Eichner undoubtedly is the face of this feature in more ways than one. The star and co-writer, but also the main advocate in wanting people to see what he created. He had plenty to bring to this feature and he does so in every facet. His performance as Bobby brings his trademark humor to the forefront but it takes two to tango and he had to do all of the heavy lifting when compared to Luke Macfarlane. Mostly making his name in Hallmark movies, and for a reason, Macfarlane proved to be the weak link of the film. Sure, he has the looks to be the object of desire for Eichner’s Bobby but when it comes to delivering on the emotional moments of the film, he simply just does not have it in trying to evoke what occurs. It leaves Eichner drowning needing to make these moments land effectively where no help existed. Perhaps the casting of Macfarlane intentionally wanted to create this dichotomy, but it certainly did not benefit the story and its quality. 

Incredibly self-aware and comedically brilliant, Bros lives up to the high bar it needed to clear. It created an entryway into a world many still remain ignorant of and invites them with open arms to enjoy the story of these two men falling in love. It has its formulaic moments as any romantic comedy does but it lands those points very effectively and it makes for something anyone can enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: