Bros is a seminal moment in comedy history. One of the funniest comedies in years and has an eye-opening amount of poignant heart.
This review of the film Bros does not contain spoilers.
Bros has a remarkable comedy team behind it. Written by star Billy Eichner and director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and produced by comedy maestro Judd Apatow (I prefer to think of The Bubble as a fever dream), this is the first LGBTQ+ romantic comedy from a major studio release (sorry, Fire Island). Bros is not only historic but happens to be one of the funniest comedies in years. Eichner’s passion project also has an eye-opening amount of poignant heart.
The story follows Buddy (Eichner), a prominent LGBTQ+ voice in New York City. An esteemed writer and coaster, he is about to open the first museum dedicated to the rich history of the LGBTQ+ community. Buddy, whose confrontational, aggressive, and unfiltered angst (sound familiar?) can turn potential romantic prospects off. His abrasive manner and prodigious intellect can be intimidating. Most of the time, he strikes out or comes to an early exit in a handful of hilarious scenes.
That is until Buddy meets Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), a successful estate planning lawyer who hates his life. Why, exactly? Aaron is rich, in great shape, and has a dynamic sex life. However, his profession is dull, sad, and overtly depressing. Even his best clients with no family refuse to leave their good fortune to charity but think divas like Cher could use it. He wants to be a chocolatier and make tiny little candies for those who will enjoy them. Aaron is that spoke on a wheel that keeps turning, and he has no idea how to stop it.
Eichner and Macfarlane have natural chemistry, and it is a classic rom-com trope of beauty and the brain falling for each other. Also, how opposites attract, and this pair compliments one another. These are all classic rom-com themes, along with those moments of making one fall madly in love when they reveal painful and personal memories. Along with those grand gestures, the movie will give fans of the genre goosebumps. Frankly, the ending is over the top — I am not sure why actress Kristen Davis is standing behind Aaron during the Eichner Garth Brooks rendition — but what’s a rom-com without that ending?
What makes Bros so effective is that this romantic comedy has something to say—a classic staple of Apatow and now Stoller, a pathos that is unmatched in most comedies. A film with a majority cast and crew of the LGBTQ+ community, Eichner ensures this comedy is viewed through LGBTQIA2S+ affirming care. Combined with Eichner’s brand of humor and Apatow/Stoller’s history of putting the “male” stamp on the rom-com, moments hit deeper. Case in point, Eichner delivers a wonderfully plotted and paced speech about being forced to be someone he is not. It is an extraordinary moment of mesmerizing plaintiveness that we did not know Eichner had in him.
Bros is hardly perfect. It is a rom-com, after all. However, this hilarious blend of humor and heart is a seminal moment in comedy history. Go see it.
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