Directed by Nicholas Stoller, Bros is a rom-com and is based on a screenplay that he co-wrote with Billy Eichner, who also stars in the movie and serves as its executive producer. It is the fourth LGBT love comedy made by a significant legacy studio (Universal) and the second movie with an openly LGBT main cast. Billy Eichner stars as Bobby Lieber, a “loud and proud” gay man with a podcast but also an afraid and self-doubting New York LGBTQ+ history museum director who is in charge of raising $5 million in funds to complete the museum. Things get rocky once he meets a buff single lawyer (and “quiet and unproud” gay man) Aaron along the way and begins to fall in love with him.
Bros is a very self-aware movie and probably the most innovative rom-com in the LGBTQ+ sector. Early into the film, we are made very aware that dating as a gay person is vastly different than not only what straight couples face, but also what is portrayed in typical LGBTQ+ media. The idea of how gay dating is the same as that of the straight community and the idea of “love is love” is simply not true. Gay dating is incredibly difficult. In the current era, hookup culture is incredibly prevalent amongst dating apps, as well as the messiest of 2 men dating. The whole film in general is about taking clichés, addressing them and destroying them with what actually happens. Another issue is well… the sex itself. Intimacy between two men is totally different physically than what is shown in other LGBTQ+ projects, and the film protrayt it as dirty and aggressive in a comedic way.
Throughout the film though, Bros is really an acknowledgement of the struggles that Billy Eichner has face when crafting and pitching the film to studios and the struggles that he has faced his whole life for being who he is, including the gay community in general. In terms of pitching, studios had a very romanticized version of what they wanted the film to be, even comparing it to a Hallmark version of what the script initially should be. They were willing to buy into the idea that people wanted to see gay rom-coms on screen, but didn’t want to see the gritty details nor the realism of what people in the LGBTQ+ community face.
Though, Billy really wanted to discuss how difficult the community has had it most of time. Bobby’s role as a museum curator for LGBTQ+ American history is a reflection of how so many people have been silenced, erased, or edited in history in order to hide any relation to a non-straight sexuality and how beautiful it is. Bros shows not only how far we’ve come as a society, but how sad and terrible of a sacrifice it was for so many to get to this point, and for those that never got to live to see it.
Overall, Bros is a very self-aware and innovative take on the rom-com genre. But it’s also just as important as a look into Billy Eichner’s life as a gay man and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, who have endured hardship for 1000s of years.
Bros is available in theatres on Friday, September 30th, 2022.