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Movie Review: ‘Bros’ is The Best Comedy of the Year

Movie Review: ‘Bros’ is The Best Comedy of the Year

Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writer: Billy Eichner, Nicholas Stoller
Stars: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Guy Branum

Synopsis: Two men with commitment problems attempt a relationship.

You’ve all heard the expression, “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” A common phrase used to describe something that has been done to death, therefore, isn’t original and has lost its place in the world. For the last twenty or so years, this has been the romantic comedy, which has turned into a relic of an idea for studios to capitalize on, leading to cheap, bland romance films coming to a streaming service near you. But with Bros, written by and starring comedian Billy Eichner, the rom-com seems to have a pulse for the first time in years as it is one of the most romantic, hilarious movies of not just this year, but in a long time.

Bobby (Eichner) is a single, out, and proud gay man living in New York City. He hosts a famous podcast, as well as is a curator of a new museum that will be the first LGBTQ+ history museum in the world. When he is not working, he spends time with his friends, going to dinner parties, and hooking up with guys off of Grindr. Bobby is not into the whole relationship thing and prefers his independence over being tied down to someone or labels. But this starts to change one night when he meets Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), a hunky lawyer who seems to be the opposite of Bobby in every way. But they are drawn to each other due to each other’s honesty, which is the most refreshing thing about Eichner and co-writer and director Nicholas Stoller’s screenplay. As they go on their first date, Bobby and Aaron call out just about every frustration that goes on within not just gay culture, but within modern relationships in general. In doing this, they connect and start to realize how much time they like to spend with one another. 

Conflict arises mostly from Aaron’s side of things, who isn’t as confident within himself as Bobby is. While Bobby is outspoken, even brass to a certain level, Aaron is more reserved, repressing who he is, what he wants to do in his life, and who he wants to be with. From who he thinks he needs to sleep with, to how his parents see Bobby when they first meet, to even a former crush surfacing, Aaron is lost, ultimately needing Bobby to show him just who he really needs to be. As for Bobby, his closed-off mind is slowly opened by a guy who would rather watch football, lift weights, and listen to country music. While this isn’t ideal for him, he learns to embrace Aaron because he opens his eyes to beyond the labels and just looks at the person you love. In moments of real intimacy and connection, Eichner and Macfarlane shine the brightest, leaning on their characters to provide the audience enough of a runway to fall in love with each of them, much like we have with straight pairings in rom-coms that have come before.

Beyond the central romance being an essential touchpoint for audiences to see, Bros offers an inclusive look into many members of the LGBTQ+ community to have a moment to shine throughout the film. Whether it is through the comedy or the open dialogue of the characters, this is a major studio film opening its doors to everyone that has not been seen on a scale like this. It is not pandering or prestigious, and it is an important and a huge step forward in allowing every voice and face to see be seen and heard. Even to take it to another level, Eicher and Macfarlane show that not everyone has to look a certain way in order to be with the person of their dreams. The film rightfully goes out of its way of showing that you can be who you are and be with whoever you want based on the person on the inside more important than the person everyone sees on the outside. Therefore, the film provides an organic worldly experience we should all strive to live in.

Bros is also downright hilarious in not only how it shows the struggles that everyone goes through in dating but in the challenges of creating this inclusive world. Between Bobby’s interactions with other men before Aaron, to his compromising work with a panel of curators to make sure the museum encompasses everyone, there are so many specific jokes that make this a unique yet relatable experience. Beyond this, Eichner and Macfarlane’s comedic timing bring everything perfectly together to balance out the traditional raunchy humor found in Stoller’s other work, as well as the films produced by Judd Apatow. But found in this film is the heart that is missing from a lot of those kind of comedies that are set with straight protagonists. Having all the great jokes in these comedies means nothing if there isn’t something emotionally relevant and impactful to the story and Eichner and Stoller deliver that and then some.

Bros is the best comedy of the year and should be the model going forward for studios to embrace the rom-com again and allow new stories to be told by artists of all colors or sexual orientations that haven’t had the chance to yet. 

Grade: B+

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