Starring Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane
Scott’s Review #1,304
Reviewed October 5, 2022
Even if Bros (2022) was a bad film it would still hold the monumental distinction of being the first LGBTQ+-themed romantic comedy released and supported by a major distributor.
In the year 2022, years after the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States and various other firsts that would take way too long to list, surprisingly, Bros is the first of its kind.
Fortunately, Bros is not a poor film but an exceptional one with brazen confidence and a lot to say.
Led by crisp and intelligent dialogue, lovable lead actors, a cast solely made up of the LGBTQ+ community, strong characters, and hilarious moments, it has something for everyone, gay, straight, or otherwise.
Before readers pigeonhole the film as one only to be seen by the LGBTQ+ community, I will cry bullshit.
Straight audiences will fall in love with the characters and learn valuable lessons about stereotypes and deep seeded emotions of gay men who are not always comfortable in their skin.
Unfortunately, Bros was not the box-office smash hit the studio hoped it would be. Some straight viewers felt the film was not for them and that’s a shame.
There’s more work to do to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias and education others to embrace differences.
Billy Eichner, who co-wrote the Bros screenplay along with director, Nicholas Stoller, stars in the film, alongside Luke Macfarlane.
Eichner plays a sardonic, gay Jewish male named Bobby Leiber who resides in New York City. We meet Bobby while he is doing another episode of his New York podcast and radio show The Eleventh Brick at Stonewall, talking to callers about his written works on gay history and gay icons.
He claims to be fine with being single and not having found love, instead hooking up with random men over a dating application called Grindr, though he is successful in his career and has good friends.
He awkwardly meets Aaron Shepard (Macfarlane), a hunky masculine guy deemed ‘hot but boring’ by those in Bobby’s circle, in a gay club.
The two men slowly develop a romantic relationship despite commitment problems and hectic schedules that seem designed to put the kibosh on love.
Despite all the other aforementioned wins for this LGBTQ+ film is that the screenwriting feels fresh and intelligent. Above all else, it wisely paints the struggles that most gay men seeking a relationship of substance face.
As in other romantic comedies, some setups and situations cause conflict that risks Bobby and Aaron not getting together. Bobby feels Aaron is out of his league preferring other muscular men to his overbearing and critical approach.
One can understand Bobby’s angst but in one of the film’s most poignant and beautiful scenes, Aaron tearfully reveals that Bobby constantly challenges him and it feels good.
He needs to be with Bobby because it is right. Bobby serves as a mentor to Aaron as he wrestles with being true to himself. Stuck in a depressing yet financially secure job, Aaron instead longs to be a chocolate maker.
Beauty is only skin deep. Regardless of occasional insecurities, the two men are strongly connected and that beats everything else.
On a personal level, both characters resonated with me making me feel their angst. One would assume that Aaron the hunk would be more confident but is that the case? Both men teach and learn from each other which makes their relationship powerful.
Other than the romantic moments, Bros has its share of raunchy comical scenes justifying its ‘R’ rating. In typical Judd Apatow (the film’s producer) form, the sex scenes are revealing.
There are enough orgies, toe-sucking, and fist-sucking, to make the prudish blush. The planned ‘rimming’ scene didn’t make the final cut. Does one wonder what that would have been like?
The film follows a distinct comedy formula and includes a helping of standard annoying, clueless, or over-the-top colorful characters that appear to justify its mainstream comedy placement.
The genius is that Bros works.
I implore straight audiences to give the film a chance if for no other reason than to show that gay people are as different from each other as apples and oranges. As Bobby makes clear some are nice and some are assholes.
Bros (2022) treads conventional but with a twist, and shows that gay characters are as genuinely funny as straight characters. It provides laugh-out-loud moments and teary sentimental ones.
I can’t wait for the next project from Billy Eichner.