Release Date: 09/30/22 [Cinemas]
Studio: Universal Pictures
"Two men with commitment problems attempt a relationship."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Billy Eichner is best known for his comedy sketch Billy on the Street, in which he approaches random New Yorkers on their commutes and confronts them about pop culture, often leaving either exasperated or angry in a fashion that couldn’t be any funnier, or endlessly rewatchable as it is. It’s no secret that Eichner has a particular talent with comedy, and when it was announced in 2019 that Eichner would be writing and starring in a gay romcom, excitement was high. Touted as one of the first romcoms with an entirely LGBTQ+ cast (its predecessor, Fire Island, was released on Hulu in June), Bros lives up to its hype by being astoundingly funny. Eichner’s writing is the forefront of the film, and is easily the best part of the film, and although it can sometimes hit some rough patches, the enthusiastic performance from the cast largely makes up for it.
As a gay person himself and from New York City, Eichner is very well versed as to what gay culture and gay dating are light in the community, but more importantly, how they differ from how straight people not only behave, but date as well. It was one of the first times where I felt that I saw myself and my community represented on screen in an authentic way, not just in a way that was stereotypically written either by a straight writer, or for a straight audience, and I feel like that’s what really sets this movie above the rest. While a harsh and realistic look at what the gay community is like might be difficult for some audiences, Eicher never shys away from all the realities of it, and instead leans in full force. Each main character feels incredibly real, and we can see and feel the emotional complexities and journeys that they go on throughout the film. The gay community has been marred by acceptance issues for decades, whether it’s acceptance from others outside of the community, acceptance from those within the community, or acceptance of ourselves for who we are, it’s unfortunately very common that self-hatred is ever pervasive. Eicher is able to articulately tap into each different way this is handled by people, through obsessive self image, projecting insecurities onto others, or emotional isolation.
Eicher also takes some bold stances on the community itself, even touting that “gay people are dumb”, or flipping the classic phrase “Love is Love” on its head, by instead proposing “Love is NOT Love.” It’s a difficult pill to swallow on the surface, but the writing is able to so effortlessly explain these concepts in a way that’s easily applicable to everyday situations, and it’s easy to understand for an everyday person who might just be casually watching the film. I would say it’s astounding how effortlessly and accurately he’s able to tap into such complex nuances to gay culture, but to be honest, I’m not at all surprised at how well Eichner is able to do so, considering it’s what he’s been surrounded by his entire life. What’s additionally impressive is that he’s able to incorporate all these pieces and still hit all the standard beats that you would expect from a romcom. Although it’s different from any romcom I may have seen, it still is able to present itself as undeniably a romcom, similar to the likes of When Harry Met Sally, or You’ve Got Mail.
While the themes of the movie and the narratives surrounding gay culture might be incredibly written, there’s still pieces that either clog the movie up, or prevent it from running as smoothly as it should. There’s not many of them, but there’s still parts that are cringe-worthy worth cliche, and definitely a few bits scattered throughout that are taken a little too far, or just straight up don’t land. Irritatingly, there’s more than one occasion where you can tell a different line was inserted during post-production, and was dubbed over the actor’s original line where the lips clearly don’t match up with what the audience hears. And although this might make the film in general a bit more unpolished, it definitely shouldn’t prevent you from seeing it.
Bros effortlessly lives up to the hype that it’s been receiving after it’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Eichner effortlessly creates a film that’s incredibly for both gay and straight audiences alike, entertaining anyone who decides to go see it.