Billy Eichner’s history-making gay rom-com Bros has finally hit screens – and the verdict is in
The first reviews are in for Billy Eichner’s history-making gay rom-com Bros – and they’re somewhat mixed.
Much has been made of the film, which has been dubbed the first gay major studio romantic comedy to get a theatrical release. Its two leads are openly gay men, which has also been hailed as revolutionary.
Bros follows Bobby (Eichner), a gay podcaster who meets and quickly falls for gym-rat Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) – but as is the case with any rom-com, there are obstacles along the way for the couple.
If the reviews are anything to go by, the long wait for Bros was largely worth it. Critics who saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival have praised it for its humour, even if they’ve taken issue with other aspects of the rom-com.
Deadline‘s review is the most positive. Critic Pete Hammond says Bros proves the rom-com format “still works, even if this time it is two gay men who are the ones who find love against all odds”.
Hammond says the film’s story is “truly universal”, even if much of its humour is specific to gay culture.
“Bros is the funniest film of the year – and one of the most heartfelt,” Hammond writes.
“I had forgotten that studios used to make comedies like this all the time. Maybe Bros can bring them back.”
Hammond heaps praise on Eichner in particular, saying he “explodes on the screen as a major comic talent”.
Billy Eichner’s Bros described as ‘funny’ and ‘sweet’ by critics
Variety‘s Peter Debruge was somewhat less positive in his review.
Debruge says Eichner’s Bobby isn’t likeable and that he “may not win you over at all”. He questions why Bobby doesn’t seem to evolve during the film, while Aaron is the one who has to change.
“…Eichner gives the gays a happy ending and lots of laughs along the way, damned if he doesn’t seem miserable for most of the movie,” he writes.
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, John DeFore said the film is “funny, sweet and occasionally pointed”.
According to DeFore, the film “makes lots of jokes at the expense of corporate types who would co-opt gay culture for prestige or water it down for straight consumption”, but in the end it shows it’s no different to “every guy-girl love story that has made money in the last thirty years”.
Bros is “formula-bound”, DeFore writes – which he acknowledges many cinmea-goers will want.
“…When it comes to rom-coms, a love story is a love story,” DeFore writes.
“They’re nearly all the same, nearly all phony, even when their phoniness is saying something true or when they have enough charm that you spend your life trying to believe them.”
Bros is released in the UK on 28 October.