Two commitment-phobic men attempt a relationship while dealing with their own interpersonal and internal issues.
THE GOOD STUFF
ACTUAL CHEMISTRY- What the hell is a rom-com even for if the two film leads don’t have romantic chemistry on screen? Well, as it turns out, Luke McFarland and Billy Eichner have impeccable chemistry on screen together.
This, combined with a well-written story, for the most part, leads to truly impressive moments on screen between the two. Real heartfelt type of stuff that the good romantic comedies in history have always done.
80% OF BILLY EICHNER’S PERFORMANCE- I’d really have to sit down and think of a performance that varied in quality from scene to scene than in this movie. 80% of the time, Billy Eichner is giving a lot of gravitas to a character drowning in insecurities and cynicism, and doing so in a way that separates himself from the persona that we know from funny or die (the other 20% will be addressed later). Eichner really shines in the second act of this movie which culminates in an absolutely wonderful monologue detailing the abuses and professional neglect he’s faced in his field coming up as a gay man.
THE BAD STUFF
SIDE STORIES- Simply put, everything that doesn’t involve the relationship of the two main characters seems uninspired, if not flat-out uninteresting. The side story involving the creation of an Abraham Lincoln exhibit at a museum of LGBTQIA2S+ history isn’t pulled off well outside of a wonderfully unhinged cameo from Debra Messing. Everything involving this storyline feels like a commercial break from the much better romantic story.
THE UGLY STUFF
THE 1ST ACT- The first act of this movie is bad for one major reason, but it’s a little bit hard to explain. The first act of this movie is filled to the brim with all of these side comments from Eichner’s character about a multitude of things. Representation in media, Standard homophobia, the difference between how straight and gay men react to things, online dating, and Eichner’s personal gripes with the ways certain gay men present themselves in social settings are ranted about ad nauseam in the first 15 to 20 minutes or so in the same aggressive Billy on the Street manner.
I would almost appreciate this a lot more if Eichner were to break the fourth wall, look directly into the camera and deliver these quips, but no. It’s funny for the first couple of times. Then it just goes on and on and on. It gets old. REAL FAST.
If you can get past the first grating 30 minutes, you’ll find that this is, in fact, an entertaining, inspired, AND EFFECTIVE romantic comedy for the rest of the way. Why this is a September release, not Valentine’s Day release, is practically incomprehensible.
BROS is in theaters now.