No crowd at TIFF 2022 was laughing as hard as the one at the Bros premiere. This film had a lot of people talking, and many surprised that a comedy like this would premiere here at the festival. Well, the first studio-back, Queer-led feature film had the entire theatre howling the whole time.
Bros is about two gay men who are used to the single life, trying to have a go at a real relationship. Billy Eichner plays the lead, Bobby, a gay historian of sorts, podcaster and celebrity. He also co-wrote the film. Luke Macfarlane plays his opposite, Aaron, a “boring” gay, who avoids monogamy altogether. It’s a pretty basic rom-com plot, with plenty of focus on Queer culture and history weaved into the story.
I can’t explain how much fun the audience had at the theatre. The room came alive, and the first half of Bros was almost non-stop laughter. Yes, plenty of stereotypes were woven into the script—Queer and straight—but a lot of the story spent time tearing them down too, and teaching us quite a bit about our history in the process. I’m always a fan of sneaking a lesson into a good story.
This movie moves QUICK. If you’ve ever seen Billy on the Street, that is the kind of fast-paced dialogue you’ll see throughout. Sometimes I wish the cast would have taken a breath, but that is Billy Eichner through and through, and it works. This film was a passion project of his, and that was incredibly apparent from his talk about the film after the premiere. This was his baby, and you can see that in the script, his performance, and even his press appearances.
“Bros is exactly what it set out to be: an absolutely hilarious comedy, finally focusing on something other than heterosexual couples.”
Eichner joked that he wanted a standing-O longer than Brendan Fraser’s for The Whale, and the viewers were so pumped, he almost got it! Bros is exactly what it set out to be: an absolutely hilarious comedy, finally focusing on something other than heterosexual couples. Though the base rom-com plot isn’t breaking down barriers, the underlying lessons are
Bros puts the Queer experience at the forefront, good and bad. Not only are we constantly introduced to pieces of Queer history, but Bobby’s character describes a lot of what many have gone through. People asking to hide who they are, tone it down, or “be less”. The main lesson Bros emphasizes is to never quiet who you are, and take up space.
It is apparent from the entire cast and crew that Bros was a labour of love. Nothing is done without purpose, and everything they did hit the mark from comedy, to history, to relatability. Stereotypes are on full display, but we need to laugh at ourselves a little. The cast is stacked with Queer icons, and if they aren’t in the film, they’re being talked about.
If you’re Queer, you’re going to get something out of Bros, whether it be laughter, lessons or just people you can relate to. If you’re not, you might learn something new, understand a bit more of what people go through, and at the very least, laugh your ass off.