Review by Adam Donato
At this point, everybody has seen Billy on the Street, whether they actually watch the show or they get clips from it flooding their social media timeline. With a stint on Parks and Recreation and the role of Timon in the “live action” The Lion King remake, Billy Eichner is on his way to being a household name. Bros prides itself on being the first gay rom-com produced by a major studio, which, in this case, is Universal. With inherent backlash from the more ignorant bigots of the world being imminent, there’s a great deal of pressure on Bros to be something special. Does producer Judd Apatow’s latest comedic darling have the chops to carry this story?
Just like how Seth Rogen plays Seth Rogen, Amy Schumer plays Amy Schumer, and Pete Davidson plays Pete Davidson, Billy Eichner plays Billy Eichner in Bros. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially since being a leading man of a feature is a relatively new concept to the actor. That being said, Eichner generates genuine human emotion throughout. Everyone knows he’s one of the funniest comedians working today, which he showcases here as there’s time where he’s spitting zingers left and right. The impressive aspect of the performance was making the dramatic moments work to the best of his ability. It will be interesting to see if Eichner leads a movie again anytime soon and breaks out from a comedian who is good at playing himself to an actor who has a diverse portfolio of roles. It certainly helps that the movie was written by Eichner, so he knows what works for him.
As far as writing goes, this story holds up pretty well. It’s a very satisfying narrative that is sure to be a feel-good movie for anyone. Obviously, they play on some romantic comedy tropes that plague the genre. Movies like Marry Me and Ticket to Paradise are few and far between in comparison to previous decades. Bros taking a look at that formula through the lens of the LGBTQ community makes the story feel fresh. There’s several conversations throughout that explore different perspectives that may be new to mainstream audiences. It’s important to feature voices from groups that had previously not been allowed to have a platform. Bros takes advantage of this opportunity in spades. As Natalie Portman once said while promoting the latest Marvel content, “How gay is this movie? So gay!” Bros is all the better for embracing itself. As a romantic comedy, the romance feels as real as the comedy is funny. Bros is one of the sweetest movies of the year and one of the funniest.
The public reaction to Bros upon release will be exceedingly interesting. If Karens didn’t like Buzz Lightyear’s best friend kissing another woman for five seconds, then there will definitely be a Ben Shapiro rant that will circulate Twitter about how this movie is trying to indoctrinate the public. Luckily for Bros, it’s a great movie so people who hate it for hateful reasons will be missing out. Billy Eichner is a star and his first big splash is worth the trip to the movie theater. Be sure to check it out this weekend.
Bros hits theaters on September 30.
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