Bros – TIFF 2022


Bros – TIFF 2022

Two men with commitment problems attempt a relationship.

An LGBTQ+ podcaster begins a relationship with a guy written off as guy-candy in . Bobby Leiber () is the host of the popular podcast “The 11th Brick at Stonewall,” and he is part of the committee that is planning to open the National LGTBQ+ History Museum in New York City. While out clubbing, Bobby meets Aaron (), a lawyer who comes across as the type of guy only interested in single-night hook-ups. However, Bobby and Aaron end up falling for each other, and the challenge is whether the latter wants a committed relationship.

Bros is a film by director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek), writer and star Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street, The Lion King), and producer Judd Apatow, which is being touted as the first romantic comedy with an entirely LGBTQ+ cast. Eichner even makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to this fact with his character Bobby's opening podcast monologue. The film's central conflict involves whether a smart gay man like Bobby can date a “dumb” jock of a gay man like Aaron, seemingly only interested in having one-night stands.

As a straight man who was entertained by Bros, I can contend that the film is successful in its goal of being a gay romantic comedy that can be enjoyed by everyone. It doesn't hurt that the film features the crude humour that Judd Apatow productions are known for. This includes a few hilarious, if not completely inappropriate, sight gags.

Bros also ends up being educational about the broad spectrum of people in the LGBTQ+ community, as evidenced by the members of Bobby's museum committee that includes lesbian Cherry (Dot-Marie Jones), trans women Angela (TS Madison) and Tamara (Eve Lindley), gender neutral Wanda (Miss Lawrence), and very stubborn bisexual Robert (Jim Rash). The film also has cameos from the likes of Debra Messing, as a fictional version of herself playing up how people confuse her for her character on Will & Grace, as well as legendary gay comedian Harvey Fierstein, playing the proprietor of a bed and breakfast in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where Bobby travels at one point to acquire funding for the museum.

While Bros does end up featuring a few of the cliches typical of romantic comedies, such as problems that drive Bobby and Aaron apart, the film does end up being successful in not politicizing the sexual orientation of the characters. The protagonists of Bros are just depicted as normal human beings having normal relationship issues, and that's how it should be.

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Trailer for Bros – TIFF 2022

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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