“Bros” succeeds as a hilarious and unapologetic modern romcom

October 15, 2022

In 2022, a cut and dry comedy from a major studio is becoming more and more rare in theatrical releases. Comedies are usually put straight to streaming or more often secluded to television. It’s even less common that they are released by studios as big as Universal and are given a wide release. 

It’s downright unprecedented for it to be a romantic comedy strictly about a gay relationship, with hardly any compromises for a wide straight audience, but “Bros” somehow checks every box. 

“Bros” is a ferociously modern film about the complexities of dating in the gay community, and it stars Billy Eichner, most commonly known for his trailblazing and repeatedly viral reality series “Billy on the Street.” Eichner has popped around a handful of films and tv series in the years since the show’s rise in popularity, but “Bros” is easily his biggest and most hands-on creative endeavor since “Billy on the Street.” 


The film functions on many different levels: a romcom story, a commentary on LGBTQ+ culture, a seemingly semi-autobiographical story of Eichner’s own experiences, as well as a vessel for endless jokes and critiques with Eicher’s signature cynical style.

The marketing leadup to the film’s release was questionable in terms of displaying the film’s true attitude and strengths. The trailer was quite generic and safe, which implied the film was going to be about gay culture, but rather than represent LGBTQ+ audiences accurately, was just made as pandering entertainment for self-congratulating straight audiences.  

I can happily say that is very much not the kind of film “Bros” is and even goes as far to frequently make fun of these kinds of hollow, corporatized forms of cash-in representation. 

Eichner sets the precedent early on, with a very meta scene that depicts his character in a meeting with a film studio executive asking him to make this kind of lifeless film and him rejecting such a concept. 

The most exciting thing about “Bros” is that it’s a genuinely hilarious comedy, albeit having a somewhat niche sense of humor. I found myself laughing out loud every few minutes, making it one of the better comedies I’ve seen in a theater in years. It doesn’t hold back any punches, nor does it sugarcoat the absurdities and complex nature of the highly politicized dialogue that anyone can find themselves in on a daily basis in 2022. 

At times, the writing can feel relentless, never ceasing to completely tear down any and everything that Eichner (or his character Bobby) finds incorrect or ridiculous in the world. It can easily overwhelm anyone who isn’t already entrenched in LGBTQ+ culture or the political subjects surrounding it, but the film feels true to itself and the audience it’s representing in not attempting to dumb anything down. 

The performances from Eichner and Luke Macfarlane, who plays Aaron, the romantic partner of Bobby, are surprisingly layered. The film is Eichner’s first leading role, and he proves that he has the chops to deliver on both the comedic elements of the film, as well as the dramatic ones. 


He delivers one monologue that is especially indicative of his talent and potential as a star going forward, bouncing from melancholy, to funny, to authoritative, all within a few minutes. Macfarlane also serves up the charisma, in a highly charming and likable role that compliments Eichner’s ferocity.

Although the performances and script of “Bros” are impressive, it often falls flat from a technical standpoint. Large studio romcoms have never been known for excelling in any way when it comes to these aspects, even to the point of them often being made fun of for their highly sterile aesthetics. But at times, “Bros” can feel especially bland, with no discernable style or look that stands out when it comes to the score, cinematography or lighting. 

The editing was notably bad, with characters changing positions between cuts unnaturally, scene’s geography not quite making sense, as well as dialogue not syncing properly in a few moments. This made some of the films more dramatic moments feel highly underwhelming, with the editing working against it. The film cuts far too much, falling into the lackluster editing style that often plagues this style of movie. 

The romance at the center of the film is mostly solid, as it represents the ups and downs of a relationship between a couple that are both afraid of commitment. While certain turns felt somewhat rushed, forced or cliché, by the end of the film I was still completely wrapped up in all of it. 

“Bros” is fully unapologetic in its very honest (and often very explicit) representation of the trials and tribulations of trying to date as a gay man in modern times. The film may not be for everyone, but I think regardless of your sexuality or relationship status, “Bros” is a fun time at the theaters and is guaranteed at least a handful of laughs for anyone on board. 

I hope for more studio comedies to get released, as nothing quite beats the communal experience of a good joke in a packed auditorium. But, sadly “Bros” seems to be underperforming at the box office, which has many filmgoers pessimistic for the future of the genre, as a film like “Bros” is a rarity.

Rating: 7/10 

Staff reporter Zaden Dennis can be reached at [email protected] and you can find his other reviews at letterboxd.com/Zadenator. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.


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