SPOILER ALERT: This column contains potential spoilers about "Bros.”
If I wanted to sit down and find a cute story about straight people, I’d find millions. “Bros,” a gay romantic comedy written by Billy Eichner, is one of few.
“Bros” centers on Bobby Lieber, a gay Jewish podcaster who lands the job of curating the first ever National LGBTQ+ History Museum. He hasn’t fallen in love or felt something remotely similar — until he met Aaron, a buff, hyper-masculine gay man he meets at a party.
The movie sports an entirely queer main cast, showcasing fan favorites like Jim Rash, the dean in the TV sitcom “Community,” and Dot-Marie Jones, known for playing Coach Beiste in “Glee.” It was refreshing to find a movie written by queer people for queer people with a cast featuring mainly queer people. “Bros” is very self-aware, poking fun at movies who showcase queer stories played by straight actors aiming for an Oscar.
Sure, the writing isn’t deep, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of aiming for serious inclusion, “Bros” leaps off at the assumption that the viewer is familiar with the queer experience, giving it a baseline of inclusivity. There is no room for tokenization. Not a single character is defined by their sexuality or gender identity. Those markers are just small parts of who they are.
Its tongue-in-cheek humor doesn’t aim to address real world issues, but it inadvertently does. Several running jokes — including making fun of Hallmark holiday movies — pose themselves as Easter eggs for attentive viewers. The jokes are aimed at a queer audience— which I enjoyed greatly — and it doesn’t try to appeal to straight viewers much at all.
“Bros” has a magical quality that is only available in movies produced by Judd Apatow. The “Superbad” producer adds his well-known touch in the awkward start to the relationship to the heartbreaking third act split. I couldn’t tell what kind of work he did for the movie, though — a sign of good collaboration. His name will hopefully pull more people to the theaters to see it.
Thankfully, the movie doesn’t try to be original. It doesn’t break away from all the romantic comedy tropes. They have a perplexing meet-cute, their first date shows off their quirks, they fall in love as shown through a montage, they break up after a conflict with the parents, but they get back together and the world is set right. It’s by no means a movie you have to analyze. It’s just a romantic comedy, albeit a queer one clearly written by gay men.
Don’t watch “Bros” if gay guys are your jam. Watch it to replace the boring heterosexual romantic comedy with something genuinely funny.