BROS review by Mark Walters – Billy Eichner delivers a LGBTQ+ romantic comedy everyone can relate to

BROS review by Mark Walters – Billy Eichner delivers a LGBTQ+ romantic comedy everyone can relate to

Romantic comedies are a rather safe and inevitable genre for Hollywood to bank on. Moviegoers seem to enjoy watching two different people falling in love, sometimes against great odds, and struggling to make it work. BROS definitely shows its influences on its sleeve, all while keeping its focus on the LGBTQ+ community, which is sadly either ignored in mainstream media, or played for laughs and stereotypes rather than sincerity. This new comedy comes from writer and star Billy Eichner (known for his hilarious “Billy on the Street” interview segments), writer/director Nicholas Stoller (the NEIGHBORS movies), and producer Judd Apatow.

In the film, Eichner plays Bobby, a successful gay bachelor in New York who hosts a popular podcast, and someone who isn’t looking for a relationship, even laughing at his friends and their attempts at love. He also has a new job, heading up an LGBTQ+ Historical Museum in New York, which he must get ready for a grand opening. One night, while hanging at the club, Bobby meets Aaron (Luke MacFarlane), a buff gay man who seems like everything he’s not, but they have some pleasant banter between them and Bobby finds himself intrigued. They eventually hang out, and seem to click rather quickly, but neither one of them is looking for a serious relationship, so one begins to wonder what sort of future they might have.

BROS in many ways follows the tenets of a typical romantic comedy, but presents things in a very honest way and from a lens of the gay community. Eichner also isn’t afraid to show some of the more controversial and perhaps ugly sides of looking for love. Most movies wouldn’t show things like two people hooking up while using “meet-for-sex” apps like Tinder and Grindr, though Billy doesn’t shy away from this but rather makes it a recurring story element, showing how cold and disconnected and incredibly uncomfortable it can be. It’s smart, as it’s easy to see why his character might then long for something more meaningful.

Eichner does a great job playing the conflicted lead character, someone who is sympathetic while also having plenty of flaws. In many ways he feels like a more realistic protagonist for these modern times. Luke MacFarlane also exudes a sweetness and likable quality that feels sincere and realistic… a beautiful man with everything going on from the outside, but a discontent interior. The chemistry between the two leads is almost instant, and very effective. As a love story, BROS is fun and funny to watch play out, but also gives us the impression it’s trying really hard not to be too schmaltzy, which is appreciated. And within the story here, there’s also a great sub-theme of the importance of gay culture and history, and how we shouldn’t be afraid to embrace it.

It stands to reason some people may not want to see this movie due to personal feelings or religious beliefs toward the gay community, and that’s a shame. There’s so much honesty on display here, if anything it shows how saccharine and tepid the typical Hollywood rom-com has become. BROS is a refreshing look at dating in the modern age, and how finding the perfect partner is sometimes very difficult these days, but can also be very rewarding. This feels like a Judd Apatow comedy in many ways, but also flows better than many of Apatow’s more recent efforts. Stoller and Eichner keep the script moving at a brisk pace, and never give the audience a chance to get bored. It should be noted, this is very much an R-rated comedy and definitely does not shy away from some of the more uncomfortable aspects of a sexual lifestyle, even in the language used within, but if you’re not put off by honest looks at modern relationships, BROS is absolutely worth a look.

BROS opens September 30, 2022

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.