Two commitment phobes attempt a relationship.
It is always interesting to see the reaction when something ‘new’ lands when it comes to cinema. Most cinema fans will have heard by now about director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) tackling what many consider to be one of Hollywood’s final taboos – a homosexual romantic comedy with the new film Bros.
To many serious film and television lovers this might be a complete surprise that such a film would still be considered a taboo today, especially given the success of TV shows such as Queer As Folk and The L Word. Even films such as Chasing Amy and Love, Simon have shown over the years that homosexual relationships can be brought to the screen is a serious way without being treated in a derogatory way.
Having said that though Bros takes that general idea and amps it up to 10 with nearly all the cast and crew being LGBTQ+ but of course the most important question about the film still remains – does it work and is it going to be an enjoyable experience for the audience watching it? And the answer to that is if you like a laugh out loud comedy, then sure it certainly ticks all the boxes.
Plot-wise the film follows the out and very judgemental Bobby (Billy Eichner – The Lion King) who hides his fear of commitment behind a facade of saying that ‘nobody is right for him.’ Then one night while out a club he meets the physically alluring Aaron (Luke Macfarlane – Brothers + Sisters) who covers up his own commitment phobia with frequent sexual liaisons with different guys.
When the pair first meet they decide why they ‘clash’ and refuse to admit their attraction for each other. Bobby becomes his judgemental self and tries to bury himself with his work of creating a LGBTQ+ museum while Aaron tries to end every date by encouraging Bobby to see other men with him. Unlike Bobby though Aaron doesn’t have work he can escape into it because as it turns out he loathes his job.
When all is said and done with Bros what works most with the film is that Stoller and Eichner have created likable characters that an audience can’t help but ‘barrack’ for while also making this one of the funniest films anyone will see in 2022. The film itself doesn’t stray too far from the typical rom-com formula and like most of these kinds of films Bobby maybe set up to be slightly annoying but at the same time he has enough redeeming qualities to make him an audience favourite – for a reference point think Phoebe from Friends. It also possibly helps that he is given many of the funnier lines throughout the film.
In fact it is the comedy of Bros. that makes it such a winner. At times during the film it feels like there is a laugh a minute and it is impossible to stop yourself from laughing out loud. Some of the characters that Bobby has to work with on the Board of the LGBTQ+ museum are pure comedic gold while Debra Messing’s (Will & Grace) cameo is absolutely priceless.
Also helping the film to tell its story in a believable way is the fact that Stoller is a mature enough director/screenwriter to know when to reign in the comedy and let the heart of the film shine through. There are so more serious scenes throughout the film, and lets be honest some of those are completely heart-breaking as they often revolve around characters being left heartbroken because it seems that there is no way that they can overcome the phobias that they suffer from. Jokes aside this is very much a film that centres around two characters too afraid to achieve their dreams… and that is a lesson that everyone can learn from.
One of the biggest things that many will take away from this film though is just how good Eichner and Macfarlane are throughout the film. Eichner shows that he is a comedic actor that deserves to be named among the best in the business while Macfarlane shows that he is actor better than a lot of the Hallmark films that his career has been made up from so far.
If you are a lover of a good rom-com or even just comedy itself then Bros. is a film that you need to check it. Sure it maybe breaking down walls or even being considered a game-changer in Hollywood but at the end of the day when you go to see a comedy all you want to do is laugh… and Bros. will deliver those by the bucket load.