'Bros' is the first major studio gay rom-com and also too straight for its own good

In addition to being bitingly funny at times, it also is surprisingly insightful and revealing about what life is like as a gay man, both historically and especially in 2022.

There’s a reason why “Bros,” the self-proclaimed first gay-centric romantic comedy from a major Hollywood studio, flopped on its opening weekend, and it has nothing to do with rampant homophobia, regardless of what its co-lead actor/co-writer/co-executive producer Billy Eichner would have you believe.

While laced with some brutal and hysterical barbs and observations about life as anything other than heteronormative in today’s society, the reality is that “Bros” lacks the fortitude to truly challenge its audience with something original and provocative, and instead falls victim to the same creative pitfalls that derail many  heterosexual rom-coms.
Bros
2.5 out of 5 stars
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For fuck’s sake, “Bros” even has a musical interlude deep in its third act when Eichner’s character, Bobby, suddenly has a full band on standby so he can perform a sappy love song he wrote for his on-again-off-again boyfriend Aaron (Luke Macfarlane).

PSA: There should be a moratorium in Hollywood on musical performances in comedy films because, honestly, every movie since “Bridesmaids” that has resorted to this trope is guilty of jumping on a bandwagon that already jumped the shark.

Anywho, Eichner went on a Twitter screed this past weekend after “Bros” opened to a less-than-stellar $4.8 million in ticket sales.

He blamed the poor debut numbers on “straight people, especially in certain part of the country,” who “just didn’t show up for Bros.” And then he pleaded with the rest of America by asking “everyone who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo” to go see his movie.

Um, OK. That’s just tacky and weird and overly dramatic and will do absolutely nothing to help win over possible viewers who simply didn’t go to the movies this past weekend.

Here’s a thought, Billy.

Maybe a lot of those "straight people," and also a healthy heaping of LGBTQ+ viewers, live in Florida, which got butt-spanked by a hurricane two days before your big movie opened, and they were too busy trying to salvage their personal belongings or locate missing loved ones to stop and go sit in a theater that didn’t have power to not watch a movie that honestly isn’t all that good.

Again, “Bros” has a lot to champion. In addition to being bitingly funny at times, it also is surprisingly insightful and revealing about what life is like as a gay man, both historically and especially in 2022.

But when Debra Messing (“Will and Grace”) gets some of the biggest laughs and most caustic lines of dialogue, that’s a problem, especially because she’s in the film for less than 10 minutes total.

About The Author

John W. Allman

John W. Allman has spent more than 25 years as a professional journalist and writer, but he’s loved movies his entire life. Good movies, awful movies, movies that are so gloriously bad you can’t help but champion them. Since 2009, he has cultivated a review column and now a website dedicated to the genre films...
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