That’s bros as in ‘bros and hoes’, rather than Matt and Luke Goss’s 90’s boy band. The jury seems to be out on whether Nicholas Stoller’s gay rom-com has been a hit or a miss; a strong showing on US streaming services doesn’t quite wipe away the high-profile shunning at the actual box office. In times that feel more regressive than progressive due to today’s hot topic, social media bullies, Universal trumpeting the first major studio rom-com about two gay men should have been a big event; it’s failure to reach an initial cinema audience probably says more about how entrenched and widespread homophobia is outside of Kings Road…
Stoller is something of a can-do guy for this genre; as well as the popular Neighbours films, and resurrecting The Muppets, he’s collaborated with industry hub Judd Apatow on hetro-orientated comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek. For Bros, he’s chosen to work with comic Billy Eichner, who co-wrote, stars, and provides a strong authorial voice here. Eichner plays Bobby Lieber, an NYC-based podcaster and museum-curator putting together an exhibit about LGBTQ+ history. Unhappiness with his love-life is a given, until Bobby meets Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), a closeted-at-work lawyer who strikes a chord with Bobby when they meet in a club. Can Bobby and Aaron overcome their own emotional baggage and become a couple?
‘Not all gay people are nice…’ is one of the lines sold during the first of many monologues here, but while Eichner may not always play nice, his material is undeniably packed with primo zingers. ‘Maybe we can be emotionally unavailable together…Who’s writing your texts, Maroon 5?’ ‘You’re like a grown up gay Boy Scout, and I’m like, whatever happened to Evan Hansen.’ and ‘Like the bearded lady in The Greatest Showman, this is me,’ offer exactly the kind of smart dialogue that’ll convince us all to get behind Bobby and share his issues. Other trappings range from the traditional (a Harvey Fierstein cameo, references to Cher, Joan Armatrading’s Love and Affection) to the modern (SNL cameos, woke Hallmark Christmas movies, gender reveal orgies) with some of Stoller’s brand of casual satire digs mixed in (website Career Donkey feels about right for 2022)
‘Your story is not my story, so go and write your own damn story,’ offers one of Bobby’s straight friends encouragingly, and it feels like it was a big deal to get Universal’s permission to tell a fairly straightforward story of “boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy takes lots of ‘roids and loses his mind”. Bros both deconstructs and celebrates gay stereotypes, often at the same time; ‘Just because we’re gay doesn’t mean we have to dance,’ is a good convention-breaking line, but placed less than ten seconds from a big gay dancing scene, doesn’t land cleanly. Bros is a sweet, clever and funny film, but there’s a little too much on-screen pleading from Eichner that the film should be watched and enjoyed by a heterosexual audience, a position that doesn’t feel entirely true to the film’s straight-up, take-me as-you-find-me credentials. Either way, the packed-comedy and winning performances of Bros mark a big step forwards for gay representation on screen.
I have no problems with homosexuals, but i don’t think this movie is/was made for me. Great review though.
I guess it wants to do for a certain scene what Bridesmaids did, and it does work. But in the current climate, it was hard to get a positive message across…
Wonder if will do nay better over here than in the States.
I doubt it.
Doesn’t look like it. I wonder if anyone will say, oops, we miscalculated, or just blame the public for not going.
Whether its LGBTQ or hetero doesn’t matter to me, its a Rom Com. Anathema. Nope.
Sigh. Just ordering at the bar, nuts for the table?
What’s the word I’m looking for here? Begins with an “n”, rhymes with “hope” . . .
What’s your problem, Bunty? Funny film, including funny dialogue, samples included…should be a yup?
You’ve just been awarded the prestigious Bunty Badge of Honor.
What will you do now?
Taking everyone out to dinner at Smokin’ Joes!
See you 4pm!
Bad Bwoi Burger for me, think Alex is the Chipolata Cowboy?
Since I’m the youngest, can I choose from the kids menu?
You can have whatever your heart desires Booky!. Or your tummy really.
Alex is paying, right?
Is the correct answer. Chipolata Cowboy Alex!
Apparently so. Probably in bitcoin.
He’s the crypto king!
I’ll have legal tender! Coin of the realm. So eat, drink and be merry!
Great. So why DO they call you the Chipolata Cowboy?
Might be the hat. The boots. The harmonica. I dunno. It just stuck.
Must be cold up north.
For cheap easy meals, hardly a home on the range
Too hot for the band with a desperate desire for change
We’ve thrown in the towel too many times
Out for the count and when we’re down
Captain Booky and the Chipolata Cowboy
From the end of the world to your town.
You seem to be several drinks ahead of the rest of us!
Haven’t started yet!
I’m going to totally order my whole weeks worth of meals then.
Thanks Cowboy Alex…
Kids eat free! And since you’re the youngest you’re the designated kid.
I was hoping that was the case…
Great! You guys pick a table and text me the number for the order.
I’ll give you some of my dutty fries…