"Bros" stars Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Jim Rash, Bowen Yang, and Harvey Fierstein. Released on September 30, 2022, the film has two men attempting to form a relationship with each other.
The film was directed by Nicholas Stoller, who also directed films such as "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "Get Him to the Greek", "Neighbors", and "Storks". Many romance movies provide a story about a man and a woman gradually falling for each other. It's a tale as old as time, and for some reason, we romance lovers couldn't get enough of it. However, in recent years, the cinematic world branches out its formula by showcasing the LGBT representation. Aside from the lesser-known films from smaller studios, this type of romance was rarely portrayed by a major Hollywood studio. That is until a movie called "Love, Simon" was released in 2018, which was successful enough to start this trend. Hulu followed suit with "Happiest Season" and the recently released "Fire Island". So now it's Universal's turn to portray the romantic tension of a same-sex couple. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of stuff for me to look forward to in this latest rom-com despite not being a fan of the genre. You have the involvements of Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller, both of which delivered some solid comedies throughout the years. Additionally, it's known to be a romantic comedy featuring a cast of LGBT actors, including Billy Eichner. You read that right, folks. No straight actors are pretending to be gay in this movie. There are only actors straight out of the LGBT community being themselves. It's no game-changer since "Fire Island" already beat them to the punch. Still, it's definitely something to be proud of, considering it's from a major studio like Universal Pictures. But were these things enough to deliver a fun rom-com for its audience? Let's find out.
The movie follows Bobby Lieber (Eichner), a New York podcaster who's also an out and proud man. However, his experience with love is next to none. Eventually, Bobby meets a muscular lawyer named Aaron (Macfarlane), who's also gay. As the two grow attached, Bobby may have already found the one he's searching for, but he has to overcome certain obstacles to keep his heart intact. During the process, he works as a curator for the LGBT community to prepare for the upcoming LGBTQ+ History Museum.
I've been saying this multiple times every time I watch a romance film, but I couldn't help but mention it again for a movie like "Bros". I'm not a big fan of romance movies, as I am with the other genres. However, I'm usually more willing to give them a shot if the concept is interesting enough, especially those that have awards potential and offer plenty of comedy to keep things light-hearted. Luckily, "Bros" happens to be one of those occasions. It's got a love story between two guys and a portrayal of the LGBT community presented by several people from that community. This is another win for the LGBT community regarding its representation in a modern movie. But, of course, that doesn't always guarantee a successful film, as it also needs to rely on the execution to make this special occasion worth watching. Thankfully, the film managed to pull off this feat in more ways than one.
I would quickly admit that the story follows the usual formula of other romantic comedies. However, "Bros" wasn't afraid to commit to that narrative while providing a refreshing spin on its genre presentation. The result is a hilarious and highly heart-warming rom-com that respectively honors the community and its audiences. This is another rare occurrence where I found myself enjoying a romance film more than I expected. The storyline is fun and endearing without taking itself too seriously. More importantly, it offers a heartfelt message that'll likely inspire people with the same issues as the characters. Yes, it's something we've seen countless times, but the way it's portrayed in the movie was so charming that it made me look past that flaw easily.
Nicholas Stoller has been known for combining raunchy humor with fun narratives in his films, except "Storks", where he served as the co-director. That film is an entirely different beast when considering the target audience. His sense of direction is far from tasteless, and he isn't afraid to provide some sincerity in the adult jokes while having fun with them. The same can be said for producer Judd Apatow, who also took a similar approach with his own R-rated comedies, especially the ones involving romance. "Bros" is no exception, with Stoller handling its subject matter with consistency and genuineness regarding his direction and screenplay, which he co-wrote with Eichner. The script does wonders in examining the community's agenda to be recognized and mocking the representation in media and history. What makes it better is that it does it without pushing its own goal down our throats or even offending it. The dialogue is not only hilarious but also authentic in how they see the world and themselves.
I've only known Billy Eichner as the voice of Timon in the 2019 remake of "The Lion King". That was where I recognized his talent despite him being in other supporting roles. With "Bros", he had a chance to shine in a central role with the LGBT principal cast. Unsurprisingly, he didn't waste it. Eichner was one of the best parts of the film, as his performance as Bobby was extremely entertaining to watch and heartfelt in portraying a fictional version of himself. Hopefully, it would allow Eichner to get more main roles like this. Luke Macfarlane was also excellent as the conflicted Aaron, who struggles with his life choices. He made every scene involving him count with his charisma and the ever-lasting charm in his chemistry with Eichner. In fact, the entire cast was just as likable as the main leads, which adds to the film's irresistible appeal.
Overall, "Bros" is a consistently fun and authentically heartfelt romantic comedy that delivers the feels and the laughs. More importantly, it showcases a stellar representation of the LGBT community in film and the genre itself. The cast was terrific (mainly Eichner and Macfarlane), Stoller's direction and screenplay were impressive, and the humor was funnier than it had any right to be. It's not only one of the best things to come out of the rom-com genre, but it's also one of the best films I've seen this year. I would highly recommend this movie to people who enjoy the genre and proudly support the community it represents.