‘Bros’ triumphantly celebrates queer history

Mimi Calzada, Life & Arts Senior Reporter

The newest addition to Nicholas Stoller’s comedic filmography, “Bros” follows Billy Eichner (“Billy On The Street,” “Friends From College”) as Bobby, a native New Yorker attempting to fulfill his lifelong dream of spreading the word of queer history by opening the country’s first LGBTQ+ museum in New York City. One night at a club, Bobby encounters shirtless lawyer Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), and the two strike up a conversation. The pair’s relationship starts out timid and unsure before their respective fondness grows and the relationship blossoms. 

The film sports a cast of hilarious characters who work together to uplift the script, even when it feels stiff at times. Eichner and Macfarlane (“Single All the Way”) share undeniable chemistry, showing their affection for one another through tussles in public parks and celebrating each other’s respective end-of-year holidays. Bobby’s museum team enjoys a stacked cast of versatile actors including Jim Rash (“Community”), Dot-Marie Jones (“Glee”) and Eve Lindley (“All We Had”). 

Despite an occasionally lackluster script, Eichner and his castmates succeed in what comedians do best — expertly delivering a punchline. The film incorporates countless mentions of celebrities ranging from pop stars like Lil Nas X to politicians like Harvey Milk, nodding its head to dozens of LGBTQ+ icons. The rapid-fire references will delight and assure audiences that the film was made by and for LGBTQ+ folk. 

The movie suffers from some poorly-developed plotlines, like Bobby’s podcast, which makes an appearance at the very beginning to give the audience a glimpse into the life of the main character but never makes another appearance. Bobby’s insecurities about his physique — a prominent conflict in the film — are shakily established, and his subsequent dealing with those insecurities conveniently unfolds in an over-the-top, slapstick outburst without exploring why this character possesses these insecurities in the first place. 

Additionally, Eichner occasionally defaults to his well-known TV personality usually reserved for the hybrid interview-game show “Billy On The Street.” Instead of developing new traits for his fictional character, the actor’s comedic delivery and facial expressions often defaulted to his typical game show persona. For audiences familiar with that work, seeing him retreat to that personality in the midst of his first big-screen leading role can make for an occasional distraction.

The few and far-between faults in “Bros” are majorly overshadowed by the hilarious and heart-warming nature of the film. Eichner sought to write a movie about unapologetic queerness, and achieved this unwavering quality in his characterization from start to finish. A story about the journey to self-acceptance and following one’s heart, no matter how late in life, “Bros” stakes its claim as one of the funniest rom-coms of the year and will solidify its significance in LGBTQ+ culture for years to come.


4 1/2 shirtless lawyers out of 5