‘Bros’ breaks film barriers

Mykel Hilliard, Opinions Editor

Universal Pictures’ LGBTQ-themed romantic comedy “Bros” will stand the test of time. In an era when film studios and streaming platforms attempt to tell stories of LGBTQ characters, “Bros” feels different, fresh and funny. The film is directed by Nicholas Stoller, the same guy behind iconic modern day comedies such as “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Neighbors,” and “Get Him To The Greek.” In addition to Stoller being a behind-the-camera mega producer, Judd Apatow serves as one of the film’s producers.

One aspect of the film that sets it apart from prominent LGBTQ films from this decade is the main cast is composed of all LGBTQ actors, making it one of Hollywood’s first films to do so. If the film fares well at the box office following its Sept. 30 release date, it could easily be the catalyst for a new genre of LGBTQ comedies.

At the center of the film is four-time Emmy nominee Billy Eichner, who not only co-wrote the screenplay, but also plays the film’s brash but likable lead, Bobby. In the film, Bobby, a New York museum curator, is tasked with penning a romantic comedy about a gay couple. Despite not having many successful relationships, Bobby begins writing the film. Along the way, he meets Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) a masculine, sports-loving lawyer. On screen, Macfarlane and Eichner shine, playing off each other with ease.

The film, similar to heteronormative romantic comedies in modern cinema, is filled with dating cliches, which is what ironically makes it more realistic. From the inclusion of poppers and hook-up apps to references of pop divas such as Mariah Carey, Cher and Barbra Streisand, the film provides audiences with niche queer moments which may have otherwise gone over someone’s head if they weren’t familiar with gay culture.

Rounding out the cast are Bobby’s co-workers who are played by some of queer Hollywood’s biggest names including Miss Lawrence, TS Madison, Dot-Marie Jones and Harvey Fierstein. Not only does the group have believable chemistry, but they also represent diverse identities within the queer community. Without their presence, the film would be just another love story centered around white people.

At a Sept. 14 press event for the film in Dallas, Eichner expressed his excitement for the film and celebrated Universal’s willingness to let them explore the not-safe-for-work aspects of queer culture. “I mean the fact that the same company behind the Minion franchise, and ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ made a movie with orgy scenes and poppers, and decided they were going to take us on a world tour is amazing,” Eichner said.

One of the film’s biggest selling points is it is self-aware and does not shy away from being cheesy and funny. When queer stories play out on screen, they historically rely on trauma and finding self-acceptance. “Bros,” while not clear of cliches and stereotypes, allows the characters to be flawed without too much emphasis on their sexuality.

If “Bros” is an indication of where Eichner could go as a screenwriter and actor, I believe he could become one of our generation’s most lauded talents.

While the film has been celebrated for being unapologetically queer and a film starring queer people made for queer people, it relies on one simple factor: creating laughter, a language which we have all learned can transcend communities and barriers.