Where “Bros” Succeeds–and Fails

All in all, I liked Billy Eichner’s “Bros” more than the linked review below, despite its flaws, which I’ll get to. The depiction of urban gay life among thirtysomethings in the age of Grinder rings true, as does the budding relationship between neurotic Bobby (Eichner) and hot lawyer Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) as they try to overcome the barriers that hook-up culture and self-doubt pose to emotional intimacy. The “realness” of the onscreen relationship between these two emotional wounded men, and the film’s dark humor, may be why straight audiences haven’t embraced “Bros,” as it’s far from the cutesy rom-com mold that might have been more commercially acceptable.

And then there’s the fake history and woke politics that Eichner’s script imposes on the story. I nearly signed off after Bobby’s opening monologue, where he relates the myth that Stonewall was led by transwomen of color who threw the first brick (no, it wasn’t and they didn’t) and declares that a cis gay white man probably only threw the 11th brick. That canard is repeated later as well by Bobby, a fundraiser for a budding LGBTQ+ history museum in Manhattan. Later, when the museum opens, an exhibit celebrates Obama and refers to the “nightmare” that followed. You get the picture.

But the infighting among the “diverse” fundraising committee of transpeople of color, a bisexual, a lesbian or two, and Bobby (the lone cis white gay man) is played for some genuine laughs (although, of course, this diversity excludes anyone not on the woke left although gay Republicans would no doubt help to fund such a museum).

I’m not sure what compromises, if any, could have made “Bros” a profitable picture, but thumbing its nose at a large segment of gay viewers didn’t help.

Another take:

And these:

3 Comments for “Where “Bros” Succeeds–and Fails”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    Well, unlike Brokeback Mountain, they’re actually giving it in my local theater. Oh, dear, now I’m undecided.

    I might have gone when it came out if I had seen an advertisement for it. Instead I first heard about it when I read a story on “why aren’t straight people interested in the movie?” Watching an advertisement reminds me of those Eddie Murphy movies, and to a lesser extent Real Women Have Curves (guess which I’m a bigger fan of?)–it comes across as a decidedly ethnic comedy, only without a crossover star like Murphy to appeal to the mainstream audience. And not for nothing, but in the age of “groomer” accusation culture, that crossover appeal is needed.

    Even a film like Crazy Rich Asians (2018), which didn’t become a box office success solely through Asian audiences, provided an enticing element of spectacle in seeing Singapore’s wealth onscreen, and the musicality of director Jon M. Chu’s visuals.

    Fine, I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding, too. On video. It was a good movie. No, wait, my mistake, I actually didn’t, I was thinking of My Best Friend’s Wedding.

  2. posted by Jorge on

    Well I just saw it now.

    I LOVED it. Though it is a very unusual movie. I experienced it as a cross between Crash and Team America: World Police, both very polarizing movies for very different reasons. I found it hilariously farcical from start to finish, at times the cringiness so relentless it was enjoyable (Libs of Tik Tok should NOT watch this film), but the contrast between The “realness” of the onscreen relationship between these two emotional wounded men, and the film’s dark humor sometimes made it hard to tell whether or not the movie was self-aware at how ridiculous it was being.

    But I almost backed out after seeing the picture my theater used to advertise it, the trailer advertised a lot more than two guys playing Access Hollywood. I don’t go to movies to be offended unless that’s the in-joke.

    I was the ONLY person in the theater on the only showing today. It absolutely is an “ethnic” movie, and while the film is very self-aware of that within the script, the people promoting it clearly did not. Half the movies I mentioned I learned about through word of mouth, in which the person was able to be very direct about the theme. “Real Women Have Curves, it’s true, mama, Puerto Rican bodies are built big.” “[Crash] has every stereotype in it. It starts with a car crash and a black and an Asian person are using slurs at each other.” What does one say about Bros? “You got a skinny angry 40 year old gay activist in a relationship with a puffed up lawyer, and it has every crazy myth gays and anti-gays think about LGBTQ. And all the actors playing gay characters are gay.” We certainly can’t go with what a person who writes for a living might say.

  3. posted by Ricport on

    When you spend the entire pre-promotional period expressing outright hatred for anyone who isn’t a gay/gay-affirming coastal leftist elitist and telling them NOT to come to your film, don’t be surprised if only a small sliver of the population shows up. Then, don’t spend your days after your film opens and bombs whining about how nobody you despise and told not to come to your film didn’t come. Eichner could keep a fleet of shrinks busy for years.

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