Bobby (Billy Eichner) and Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) in ‘Bros.’ (Courtesy photo)

The time has finally come and the gays can all head to the movies. Bros is officially out today bringing big gay rom-com to the big mainstream screen. And it lives up to the buzz. Bros succeeds in elevating a gay love story with clever romance and humor and even with some queer history wrapped in. 

Billy Eichner stars, executive produced and co-wrote Bros with director/producer Nicholas Stoller. Judd Apatow is also a producer on the film. 

In the film, Bobby (Eichner) catches eyes with Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) at a New York nightclub. An awkward first exchange leads to a confusing interest between the two. Bobby is intense and nerdy and has sworn off romance while Aaron is a beefy jock lawyer who is drawn to other beefy jocks. Additionally, as the newly appointed director of a queer history museum, Bobby’s working hard to raise money to launch the opening of the new institution while navigating his curious courtship with Aaron. 

Bros checks off all the conventional boxes of a rom-com, but Eichner and Stoller’s story flips the script just enough to keep it both fresh and surprising. The two injected a healthy dose of clever and cynical humor that takes shots at Grindr hookups, gym rat vocab and even country music icons. In turn, the charming and tender moments felt like authentic queer conversations and exchanges. The physical humor in Aaron and Bobby’s first sexual encounter is uproarious (or just hot, depending on who you ask) while Bobby’s monologue on a PTown beach is hearbreaking. This may be the movie’s truest magic – at some point or another,  gay men will see themselves in Eichner and Stoller’s script that taps into many distinctly gay sensibilities.

The gem of Bros is the amount of LGBTQ history on display. The film smartly weaves moments of queer history into the story as Bobby and his pointedly diverse museum team that includes POC, bi, lesbian and trans voices work to find the perfect exhibition to launch the museum’s opening.

As a romantic lead, Eichner was a surprising pleasure. I honestly was unsure he could play past his Billy on the Street character and at first, he seemed to go that way, but he revealed layer after layer and disappeared into an inspired character who kept his cynical charm but with a bit more heart. Macfarlane didn’t rely on his body to deliver an ideal emotional counterpart to Eichner’s Bobby. 

Bros achieved what it set out to do – tell a love story between two cis gay men through smart comedy. Despite all its buzz, the movie never felt burdened by any history it would be making. Instead, the movie led with its heart which may just make its way into yours. 

–Rich Lopez