REVIEWS

LFF 2022 Review: Nicholas Stoller's Hilarious Romantic Comedy 'Bros'

by
October 17, 2022

Bros Review

Whether as an audience member or a critic, the viewer's mindset is almost never addressed in conversations about any type of entertainment. However, it's a factor with as much impact on the overall enjoyment of the work as any other. In the same way that a fun, light, inspirational film can transform a crestfallen face into a happy smile, a heavy, slower, contemplative movie is also capable of leaving the public seriously thinking about their own lives. Bros belongs to the former group, being even more satisfying after an emotionally draining previous viewing at the 2022 London Film Festival (Aronofsky's The Whale - read my review here).

My personal anticipation for Bros wasn't huge before watching. Despite the extremely positive reception, I couldn't stop looking at Nicholas Stoller's latest movie as "yet another rom-com," simply aimed at the LGTBQ+ community. The truth is, I couldn't have been more impressed with what is now one of my favorite movies of the year! I've always been a fan of the romantic comedy genre, despite the vast majority of scripts – including this one – following dozens of obvious formulas exhaustively repeated throughout the history of cinema. This time, however, the script is written by Stoller along with actor / comedian Billy Eichner.

Stoller's Bros doesn't reinvent any known narrative points, nor does it need to do so to build a captivating story and characters. In fact, this movie is excellent proof that it isn't required to avoid cliches or create something never done before to captivate viewers. In a rom-com, the essential consists of convincing the audience of the love that the protagonist(s) feel(s), as well as getting some good laughs in. Stoller and Eichner accomplish both goals in a genuinely remarkable way. It's hard to remember the last time I laughed so hard in a movie theater or was invested so much in a fictional romantic relationship.

It's a shame that, in 2022, there are people so prejudiced that they refuse to see a film boasting LGBTQ+ content solely due to the fact that it's about a gay romance. There are probably even a few rom-com fans who will ignore the existence of this movie just because it focuses on this couple. If only the hundreds of generic variations released each year possessed the levels of dedication, chemistry, and passion of Bros… A film that not only honors the history of its community but does so in a very interesting manner through a storyline connected to the creation of a new LGBTQ+ museum.

The comedy in Bros is quite clever, playing with the kind of dark humor I enjoy most. A brilliant satire that has no problem making fun of the diverse groups within the community – in fact, the butts of the jokes are rarely heterosexual. In a packed theater, the hundreds of occupied seats erupted with effusive laughter, and it's no wonder: Stoller and Eichner write accessible, amusing jokes for any viewer, no matter who they are. Even with a comedic focus, it never stops being warmly educational – more than expected.

Without ever sounding preachy, Bros simply offers a variety of points of view, never really claiming that one perspective is right and the others are all wrong - apart from obvious topics like discrimination and phobias. Efficiently balancing drama, romance and comedy, Stoller's movie achieves an entertainment combo many visually overwhelming blockbusters fail to fulfill. In addition to this, Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane play Bobby and Aaron with such chemistry it will leave many real couples jealous.

It's easy to get emotionally invested in a relationship on the big screen when the two respective characters complement each other so well. Eichner's Bobby sees the world in a very peculiar way. He's full of energy and has strong opinions about everything. He's stubborn, sarcastic, and honest, but he doesn't trust anyone to the point of starting a relationship. Aaron is a man with an enviable physique who breaks the stereotype related to muscular men's lack of intelligence and sensitivity. He also doesn't seem to desire a committed relationship and sees the world in a more positive light.

As I mentioned above, Bros doesn't present overly complex characters, nor is it driven by a complicated plot. This is where the film's success lies: simplicity and authenticity are two elements that are more than enough to make a successful romantic comedy with all the needed ingredients for a couple of hours of pure fun and entertainment. Topped off with superb performances from the entire cast, especially in the comedic area; plus original songs with beautiful lyrics. There's no major issues to point out.

Final Thoughts

Bros is a genuine, authentic, especially hilarious breath of fresh air. Clever satirical comedy rips out loud back-to-back laughs throughout the entire runtime without causing viewers to lose their ear-to-ear smile. Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane share more chemistry than hundreds of leads in as many rom-coms. It doesn't shy away from familiar formulas or the cliches of the genre, but it boasts a compelling romance and a truly charming story, paying homage to the LGBTQ+ community as well. One of the best films of the year!

Manuel's London Rating: A-
Follow Manuel on Twitter - @msbreviews / Or Letterboxd - @msbreviews

Find more posts: Comedy, Review

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