Bros arrives in UK cinemas on October 28.
We need more comedy on the big screen in our world of turmoil and sadness, yet comedies receiving a theatrical release have remained rare over the past two years. Thankfully Billy Eichner and co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller’s gay romantic comedy is here to save the day. Bros is not only one of the best romantic comedies of the past ten years but also an intelligent exploration of the diverse LGBTQ+ community many of us call home. Here Eichner and Stoller joyously unpick the gay male experience before stitching it back together into an uplifting, emotional and honest celebration of our right to happiness, love and equality on our own terms. The result is a heartwarming and hilarious romantic comedy that isn’t afraid to hold a mirror to the gay male experience of dating, sex and love.
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Bobby (Eichner) hosts an LGBTQ+ history podcast called The 11th Brick (a tongue-in-cheek take on who threw the first brick at the Stonewall riots) while also acting as the director of the first national LGBTQ+ history museum. Bobby is forty and has spent most of his life alone, and he is pretty settled in his single life, or at least that’s what he likes to tell himself. As the years have gone by, Bobby has developed a deep distrust of his fellow gay men, born from years of disappointment.
However, Bobby’s life suddenly changes when he meets Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) at a local club. But Aaron is emotionally distant, and as far as Bobby’s concerned, he is way out of his league. But maybe, just maybe, there is more to this relationship than either Bobby or Aaron would initially like to admit. However, relationships aren’t easy, and sometimes, you must discard the past and embrace an uncertain future to find happiness.
(from left) Bobby (Billy Eichner) and Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) in Bros, co-written, produced and directed by Nicholas Stoller.
Gay or bisexual men watching the story that unfolds will find elements of their own life represented in the journey Bobby and Aaron take, from the cold world of the hookup app and the phrase “Hey, what’s up?” to the apprehension of allowing another man into your world after years of single life. MacFarlane and Eisner’s performances are rooted in an honesty that only comes from lived experience, and it’s this lived experience that lights up the screen from the outset.
Eichner and Stoller’s sharp screenplay understands the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and the fact that it is far from perfect and regularly at odds with itself. Equally, Bros understands the fears of middle age in a gay world built on youthful looks and physical perfection, and it isn’t afraid to take a stab at the sugar-coated representation of queerness in some areas of our modern media.
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Bros embraces the reality that nobody is perfect, and life is a chaotic mess of hellos and goodbyes where we all mistakenly close the door on people we should have embraced. It also acknowledges that LGBTQ+ is not one homogenous group of shared beliefs and values. Bros may fit the classic mould of Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail or When Harry Met Sally, but it joyously rejects the heterosexual model of the perfect relationship. Here Eichner and Stoller offer us a uniquely queer take on the classic heterosexual rom-com, perfectly balancing deeper discussions on internalised homophobia, sex versus love and loneliness with razor-sharp comedy.
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Bros may not be the first gay rom-com, but like Love Simon in 2018, it breaks important new ground. Love Simon was the first studio-backed teenage gay rom-com with a 12 certificate to arrive in cinemas. Likewise, Bros is the first adult gay rom-com with an LGBTQ+ cast to receive a wide theatrical release. For this reason alone, we should be flooding into our local cinemas in support. Bros deserves to be seen on the big screen with your friends and family, and it deserves the theatrical experience of shared laughter and celebration.
Eichner and Stoller’s proudly queer homage to the classic American rom-com is not only a sublime comedy but a love letter to the occasionally dysfunctional, always brave, and fabulously diverse LGBTQ+ community we call home. Here the hilarious and tender story of When Bobby Met Aaron is an instant classic of the rom-com genre.
Eichner and Stoller’s proudly queer homage to the classic American rom-com is not only a sublime comedy but a love letter to the occasionally dysfunctional, always brave, and fabulous LGBTQ+ community we call home.