Bros

December 3, 2022
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As disappointed as star Billy Eichner was with this film’s box office performance, the movie itself isn’t half bad, so that’s saying something, at least!

Following a New York City-based podcaster named Bobby Lieber (Billy Eichner) after he accepts a job as curator for the new National LGBTQ+ History Museum in Manhattan, Bros tells a story about a man that prides himself on being single and independent while showing the lengths he’ll go to subconsciously (or deliberately) make his romantic life more difficult than it needs to be. After randomly meeting the hunky but “boring” Aaron Shepard (Luke Macfarlane) at a nightclub during the launch of a new gay dating app, Bobby and Aaron start a courtship which, thanks to Aaron’s more “straight” gay nature and Bobby’s more intense personality, proves much harder to keep up than expected. And as Bobby and Aaron deal with problems cropping up in their personal and work lives that threaten their bond, they soon realize they need to decide whether or not they truly want to be with each other, and more importantly, whether or not they’re even right for one another.

Directed by Nicholas Stoller, the filmmaker behind one of my favorite comedies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and starring comedian Billy Eichner, I immediately felt good about the creative team behind a movie that I’m still surprised was made in the first place. Focusing on a cast of openly gay characters and bolstered by a script that explores the relationships between them ranging from the romantic to the business-related to the completely plutonic, Bros is genuinely hilarious whenever it brings its LGBTQ+ flavor to jokes and scenarios that have been done to death by heterosexual rom coms, easily making it worth the watch on an entertainment level alone.

Enjoyable when the jokes are flowing and endearing when the central romance takes precedence over some of the more half-baked storytelling ideas, Bros has a few scenes that had me laughing out loud, but also more than a few that showed the personal journeys these characters were facing in realistic detail. And then, just as things were getting good, Bros turns into the cliche movie that it at first seemed to be moving away from. Not only that, but around the same time, the entire movie took a noticeable step down in quality and became less funny, less put together on a story level, and less like the movie that I — and even the filmmakers it seems — wanted it to be.

Presented in a way that consistently addresses how gay culture is portrayed in the media and across the world, Bros talks a lot about what it should be doing as a piece of popcorn entertainment — especially one that almost exclusively consists of and tells stories about the LGBTQ+ community and its National LGBTQ+ History Museum curator protagonist — and instead of truly committing to showing, talking, and scratching more than the surface of these ideas, Bros settles for dancing around the edges of it all, ending up following a more average rom-com structure that lowered the film’s quality to exactly that: an average rom-com. It’s unfortunate as the movie desperately feels like it has something to say on its subject matter, yet only ever teases becoming something more before reverting to the completely enjoyable but still somewhat underwhelming moviegoing experience it almost avoided becoming.

I liked a lot of what I saw in this one, I just don’t understand why — especially with the talent involved behind and in front of the camera — it ended up as such a middling movie. Bros is funny but not overly so, eye-opening but not a real learning experience, and enjoyably different but not completely unique, ensuring that while it does entertain, it isn’t the movie it so clearly wants to be.

As disappointed as star Billy Eichner was with this film’s box office performance, the movie itself isn’t half bad, so that's saying something, at least! Following a New York City-based podcaster named Bobby Lieber (Billy Eichner) after he accepts a job as curator for the new National LGBTQ+ History Museum in Manhattan, Bros tells a story about a man that prides himself on being single and independent while showing the lengths he'll go to subconsciously (or deliberately) make his romantic life more difficult than it needs to be. After randomly meeting the hunky but "boring" Aaron Shepard (Luke Macfarlane) at a nightclub during the launch of a new gay dating app, Bobby and Aaron start a courtship which, thanks to Aaron’s more “straight” gay nature and Bobby’s more intense personality, proves much harder to keep up than expected. And as Bobby and Aaron deal with problems cropping up in their personal and work lives that threaten their bond, they soon realize they need to decide whether or not they truly want to be with each other, and more importantly, whether or not they’re even right for one another. Directed by Nicholas Stoller, the filmmaker behind one of my favorite comedies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and starring comedian Billy Eichner, I immediately felt good about the creative team behind a movie that I’m still surprised was made in the first place. Focusing on a cast of openly gay characters and bolstered by a script that explores the relationships between them ranging from the romantic to the business-related to the completely plutonic, Bros is genuinely hilarious whenever it brings its LGBTQ+ flavor to jokes and scenarios that have been done to death by heterosexual rom coms, easily making it worth the watch on an entertainment level alone. Enjoyable when the jokes are flowing and endearing when the central romance takes precedence over some of the more half-baked storytelling ideas, Bros has a few scenes that had me laughing out loud, but also more than a few that showed the personal journeys these characters were facing in realistic detail. And then, just as things were getting good, Bros turns into the cliche movie that it at first seemed to be moving away from. Not only that, but around the same time, the entire movie took a noticeable step down in quality and became less funny, less put together on a story level, and less like the movie that I — and even the filmmakers it seems — wanted it to be. Presented in a way that consistently addresses how gay culture is portrayed in the media and across the world, Bros talks a lot about what it should be doing as a piece of popcorn entertainment — especially one that almost exclusively consists of and tells stories about the LGBTQ+ community and its National LGBTQ+ History Museum curator protagonist — and instead of truly committing to showing, talking, and scratching more than the surface of these ideas, Bros settles for dancing around the edges of it all, ending up following a more average rom-com structure that lowered the film's quality to…

7

A New Kind of Bro Code

The Verdict

7

7

Brian is first and foremost a nerd in every way shape and form. He likes to compare himself to a black hole, consuming any and every form of entertainment unlucky enough to get caught in his gravitational pull. It's not uncommon on any given day for him to read a couple comics, settle down with a good book, watch a few movies (inside and out of the theater), catch up on his ever growing but never depleting Hulu queue, challenge himself with a few good video games, listen to any music he can get his hands on and, of course, write his heart out. He spends every waking moment dreaming up interesting and intriguing concepts and ideas that will hopefully one day inspire and entertain anyone looking for an escape from their daily lives. Graduating from Full Sail University in good old humid Florida, Brian currently lives and works in New York City and is waiting for the day when all he has to do is wake up and create something unique and new for people to enjoy. He is always in the process of writing scripts and stories and is constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance and build his creative drive. After all, life is just one big story, all that really matters is how you strive to make it the best story possible. Disclaimer: Brian does not actually have powdered green skin in case anyone was wondering. A Skrull I am not. Blame the guys at the Color Run for this one.

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