Published On: Fri, Oct 28th, 2022

Bros review: The first mainstream rom-com with openly gay leads | Films | Entertainment

The Judd Apatow-produced Bros, as in the plural of the American jock’s favourite term of endearment, may be just as amusing but is a very different beast to the Goss brothers’ 2018 hit After The Screaming Stops.

Billed as the first mainstream rom-com with openly gay leads, the film mixes romantic gooeyness with the razor-sharp wit of lead actor and co-writer Billy Eichner.

“We’re horny and we’re selfish and we’re stupid. I don’t trust these people,” says motor-mouthed New York podcaster Bobby Lieber (Eichner) explaining why he has never committed to a steady relationship.

But the militant singleton’s resolve begins to waver after he locks eyes with a shirtless hunk during the launch party for a new gay dating app called Zellweger.

Bobby, who also curates America’s first National LGBTQ+ History Museum, couldn’t be more different to softly spoken, muscle-bound Garth Brooks fan Aaron (Luke Macfarlane).

But the two men begin to embark on an awkward no-strings-attached relationship which forces them to confront their hang-ups over masculinity.

Despite the backing of Universal Studios, the script isn’t interested in making gay culture accessible to mainstream audiences.

There’s no attempt to explain poppers or Grindr. If we don’t know what they are, we’ll just have to work it out.

The irreverent attacks on popular culture, including the Academy Awards’ love for tragic gay stories, should have more universal appeal.

Eichner is crafting a more upbeat tale, but his testy forty-something is at his funniest when he’s fuming.

“It’s not fair. We had AIDS, they had Glee!” he snaps, noting the easy ride offered to the “non-binary” kids of today.

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