Like Love, Simon a few years ago, new comedy Bros has had a fight getting to the big screen. The first gay romantic comedy released by a major studio, the film’s Imdb page was review bombed by online bigots prior to its release, while a disappointing opening weekend in the US led to some unfortunate finger pointing from the film’s writer and star, Billy Eichner.
It’s a shame that the film itself lies lost somewhere at the bottom of all this controversy, because it is as fun as the trailers suggest. Eichner plays Bobby, a career-focused New York podcaster and prominent voice in the LGBTQ+ community. A big break in his career coincides with him meeting Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), a masculine, sporty guy who Bobby is wary of despite their connection. Being simply a good film feels like a further burden for a project with so much weight on its shoulders, as breaking new ground often comes with unrealistic expectations.
For the most part, it’s a witty and intelligent rom-com that shows modern LGBTQ+ culture in a way that will ring true to the community and be accessible to those who aren’t. The exhausting pace of advocacy, representation, and masculinity are touched upon in a thoughtful way, while the central romance is sweet.
It gets bogged down in the middle (two hours is a long time for a rom-com), and the script can get in its own way with the many points it sets out to make. But the mostly queer cast offer an example of what’s possible when representation happens on screen, telling stories that are just as relatable as their heteronormative counterparts.
Bros is a likeable rom-com that will probably enjoy a better reception once the headlines disappear. While overstuffed with messaging, those looking for some cheesy romantic laughs will get what they came for.
Watch Bros at selected cinemas now