‘Bros’ Is the Movie Everybody Should See

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

The classic rom-com, often with household name or big budget actors, and a staple of the ’90s and ’00s as the genre dominated box offices, has had an evolution of sorts over the last decade as audiences have grown older, trends have changed, and how people see the world shifts. With only a couple of mainstream examples to compare it to, such as Love, Simon from 2018, Bros is a new installment in the rom-com world, but with an LGBTQ angle. In its effort, Bros establishes itself as a funny, sincere, and bold movie that everybody should see.

Starring Billy Eichner as Bobby and Luke Macfarlane as Aaron, the duo play two men who meet each other in a club. Both are emotionally unavailable, uninterested in dating, and start off their friendship with a sarcastic and, often, cynical view of the world and people around them. Their outlook on life is spurred by the circumstances, and insecurities, of their upbringing and the success they’ve found as adults and how they navigate these realities is an ever present struggle throughout the film. On paper, Bobby and Aaron don’t seem like a match, and they acknowledge that a number of times, but their relationship is one that defies certain odds that are especially present in the gay community.

As Bobby and Aaron navigate who they are and what their relationship is going to be, whether as just friends or something more, they are also forced to come to terms with who they are as people, both professionally and personally. Their interactions with others, such as friends and family, and how they succeed in their careers provides them both excuses to keep operating as they are, whether that means they’re happy or miserable. Bobby and Aaron are also forced to examine their identities as gay men, within and outside of the community, and how their confidence and sense of purpose plays a role in their daily lives. For Bobby, being gay and proudly out has become his brand and he unapologetically advocates for the history and stories of LGBTQ people, even at the risk of annoying and turning off those around him. For Aaron, he’s not so out and his work life is less than ideal as it isn’t what he really wants to do and his self expression is limited in how he presents himself to friends and family. Threading a line through all of this, of course, is the difficulty of gay dating and relationships. The comfort levels of Bobby and Aaron are tested, and the situations they find themselves in mirror what so many gay men deal with daily.

For many gay men, these on-screen experiences are all too familiar. Having to navigate the complexities of dating in a smaller community, having to hide or dull your personality or identity in specific certain around different people, and putting work and professional success first because it can be more difficult and take more time to achieve this as compared to straight counterparts. Bros brilliantly shines a light on all of this.

The onscreen chemistry between Eichner and Macfarlane is especially endearing, as their characters squabble and play with each other, provide insights into their personalities, and are pushing each other’s comfort levels in ways that they have never been pushed before. Ultimately, Bobby and Aaron are making each other better people and this is taking place long before they realize what is happening.

In the end, Bros does play by some of the rules we love in a rom-com. Through its biting wit and commentary, there is an affectionate love story here that we’ve seen many, many times over the last few decades, but the care in which this story is told and the perspective it is told from makes it a new and refreshing experience.

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