A gay romcom to laugh and fall in love with.
I may be a straight film critic, but that doesn’t mean I can’t show my respect for gay people. I’ve known some gay people, I’ve met gay actors, and I have seen and loved gay movies like “Philadelphia” and “Moonlight.” I was even told by a gay man to cut back on using the word “homosexual” in my reviews, because he thought it was an old-fashioned word. I can’t say his name, but he knew I was a well-meaning person, and I know gay people are people, too. We all should be equal.
“Bros,” co-written and directed by Nicholas Stoller and produced by Judd Apatow, is the a gay mass marketed romcom, released by Universal Pictures. Let’s not beat around the bush. This is the year’s funniest and sweetest comedy, so far. It’s a gay romcom that loves gay people, and never condescends gays, lesbians, transgenders, or anyone with their own personal interests. It has nothing but the utmost respect for the LGBTQ+ community, but really, it’s about people and how life adapts with them.
It’s a romcom that wins you over, ether you’re gay or straight.
Billy Eichner co-wrote with Stoller and stars as a gay NYC podcaster named Bobby Lieber, who is bad at starting relationships and needs a donor to help fund his LGBTQ+ museum, which would be America’s first gay national museum. He meets a gay attorney named Aaron Shepard (Luke Macfarlene from “Brothers and Sisters”) at a party, and he, too, isn’t into relationships.
They decide to hang out, and they have their personal aspects of themselves. Bobby feels aggravated by some of the homophobia of his past, which is why he’s often stubborn, while Aaron hates his job, and has a dream that he considers “faggy.” His words, not mine. But I think whatever he wants to accomplish out of life is good-hearted. It’s a bromance that loves these two individuals, with “When Harry Met Sally” echos. We’re not laughing at these gay people; we’re laughing with them, especially since Eichner wrote the script.
“Bros” is R-rated, but that doesn’t mean it has to act like it is. Comedy bombs like “Baywatch,” “The Happytime Murders,” and more recently, “Me Time,” have all learned that the hard way. “Bros” is supposed to be funny in honest ways, and it has to be funny in goofy ways that are original. But it’s also sweet and sentimental in the ways it allows these gay characters to be themselves, and want to forget the homophobia life provided. There’s still some of that going on, but that doesn’t mean the pride is gone. It’s still going strong, and this movie is strong in this particular romcom.
This is, bar none, Stoller’s best comedy since “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” And both movies know how to use their tears and tickles with strong notions and comedy stars who know the stakes. Eichner knows what he’s getting himself into, and he’s brave and funny for doing so. And I’ve never heard of Macfarlene, but he has the human connections of macho gay man with a big heart. These two manage to have chemistry in a Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan tradition.
You get some funny cameos from the likes of Debra Messing, Harvey Firestein, Ben Stiller, Amy Schumer, and Kenan Thompson, among others. And you also have some charming supporting work from real gay actors like Jim Rash, Ts Madison, Monica Raymund, and Miss Lawrence.
The movie starts with Eichner’s character being assigned to write a screenplay about a gay romcom, which he feels too cynical about. One of the reasons being that not all gay guys are nice. It’s quite poetic, and the movie he finds himself in proves him otherwise. Share the pride, see this comedy.