Bros (2022) – Movie Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

“Bro” lives up to the hype and precedent it wants to set as one of the biggest gay romantic comedies, if not one of the best romantic comedies.


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The movie poster for Bros, with Billy and Aaron touching each other's butt

“Bro” lives up to the hype and precedent it wants to set as one of the biggest gay romantic comedies, if not one of the best romantic comedies.

Director(s) Nicholas Stoller
Screenplay By Nicholas Stoller and Billy Eichner
Based On NA
Date Released (In Theaters) September 30, 2022
Genre(s) Comedy, Romance, LGBT+
Duration 1 Hour and 55 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Cast
Bobby Leiber Billy Eichner
Henry Guy Branum
Aaron Shepard Luke Macfarlane
Angela TS Madison
Wanda Miss Lawrence
Cherry Dot-Marie Jones
Robert Jim Rash
Tamara Eve Lindley
Steve Brock Ciarlelli

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

For his 40 years of life, Bobby has always struggled with love. Hooking up, often bottoming? Finding someone for that has long been easy as he is fully engaged with hookup culture in person and through Grindr. But love? Relationships? Genuine romance? That is a foreign idea he sees other gay people get into, and of course, heterosexuals, but it has never been meant for him. This has long been fine because Bobby is a writer and journalist and recently became the head of getting an LGBTQ+ museum made, which has been a massive undertaking.

However, things shift for Bobby when his best friend Henry points out and introduces Aaron, a probate lawyer. Mind you, not quickly, as he and Aaron come with a unique set of baggage due to being gay, but between Bobby wanting to live out loud and Aaron wanting to be discreet, both work through their trauma and insecurities to try to create the first long term relationship for both.

Things To Note

Why Is “Bros” Rated R

  • Dialog: Cursing and derogatory language
  • Violence: Playfighting, nothing serious
  • Sexual Content: Tame gay sex scenes which imply anal sex and fellatio
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking galore

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Bobby

Bobby has known and embraced being gay most of his life. Unfortunately, he can’t say the same for everyone else, especially those he sought as mentors when he went on the path to be a journalist, a writer, and pretty much most of the ventures he has been on. But, undeterred, Bobby doubled down rather than straightened up, and by focusing on his comfort over others, he has found some semblance of joy – outside of his dating life.

Henry

Henry is Bobby’s best friend who works in the tech industry and always has something going on that gets on his nerves.

Aaron

Aaron is a former jock who still stays in shape, partly because he works all day at a desk as a probate lawyer. But, when not working or at the gym, he goes out clubbing, meeting people, hooking up, and avoiding having intimate relationships beyond sex. In fact, assuming it is 2022 in “Bros,” Aaron is 41 or 42 and like Bobby, has never had a long-term, romantic relationship with another man.

Angela

Angela represents the Black and trans women communities on the LGBTQ+ history museum board of directors.

Wanda

Wanda represents the Black and gender non-binary community on the LGBTQ+ board of directors and often helps moderate passionate debates and conversations.

Cherry

Cherry represents the lesbians on the LGBTQ+ board of directors.

Robert

Robert is the representative for bi-sexuals on the LGBTQ+ board of directors.

Tamara

Tamara is a trans woman who handles the social media for the LGBTQ+ History Museum.

Steve

You know the nice person at a party who is like a gnat who keeps trying to get into your nose or eye ducts? That’s Steve. He doesn’t know when to go away.

Review


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Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)Recommended

Highlights

While There Is “Woke” Content/ Language, There Is No Sense Of Sainthood When It Comes To LGBTQ+ Characters Or The Community

“Bros” doesn’t operate with immense, overbearing respectability politics in mind. Yes, as a historian on gay culture, Bobby can be a bit much, especially when advocating people, whether in second grade or fully grown, knowing gay history. But on the flip side, Bobby has lived a life that has included being told that he needed to modify his voice, his positions, and what makes him appear gay to many people. Even his parents, who had him see a play with men having sex on a New York stage when he was 12, wanted him to sometimes tone down his interest and what he was passionate about.

So, in many ways, you see an effort to present balance. Bobby isn’t a social justice warrior for the sake of stirring s*** up and making people uncomfortable, he is advocating not only for his community but also himself. But, it isn’t lost on him that he is a cis white man who may wear his sexuality on his sleeve but still has privilege. That is where TS Madison, as Angela, and Miss Lawrence, as Wanda come in.

Now, do they get to fully present themselves as a Black trans woman and non-binary person? Yes and no. Angela sometimes takes offense to Bobby and notes their culture and community, but not in a notably memorable way. Miss Lawrence, as Wanda, who often plays peacekeeper between Bobby, Cherry, Robert, and Tamara, makes it clear, as a Black person, they know they can’t get away with the tantrums and anger Bobby can get away with. So they try to be as chill as possible and take on the role of mediator in order to get the work the entire group is trying to get done finished.

Which leads us to Aaron. He exists in the realm, and from the upbringing, that being loud, proud, and flamboyant is doing the most and not necessary. He prefers to be solidly gay but discreet, if not passing. This brings a different conversation that counters Bobby’s and even introduces the aspect of gay culture where looks and shallowness are brought into play.

But before we go into that, we must note that Henry, while not having a twink body, being relatively skinny like Bobby, or testosterone-fueled Aaron, does get some. It is made very clear. However, it isn’t lost upon “Bros” that often, Aaron is shown to be the ideal. Someone who is potentially ageless, a heteronormative man, who fits the dreams of many but seems obtainable by few. And yet, it also makes fun of those who look like Aaron and pushes the idea that they are vapid and rely on their attractiveness so that they don’t need a personality or intelligence.

It’s a lot of back and forth between highlighting gay history, culture, and the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community while making it clear that many community members aren’t worth a damn and parts of the culture are toxic. Especially when intersectionality is put into play.

Aaron and Bobby’s Relationship Journey

Both Aaron and Bobby have gone through their own trauma, leading them to live life the way they do. As noted in the last topic, Bobby has been told his entire career to tone it down if he wanted to find success, and for Aaron, you could submit he found success since he was out but wasn’t so in a way that felt too “In your face.” Because of there, there is a reconciliation regarding what is the safest, comfortable, and maybe even right way to be gay.

On top of that, you have both men struggling to grasp the idea of having a monogamous relationship. Bobby, because he isn’t of the physique of Aaron, is made to feel insecure. Mind you, Bobby is skinny and hairy, so he still has some realm of privilege, but because he is 40+ and not built like a college jock, he worries often.

Then, on the flip side, because Bobby owns who he is so much, it makes Aaron a bit insecure because there is a level of fear beyond the perception of being gay that Aaron struggles with. For example, he would like to make chocolates for a living, but between the money and it seeming too gay, he stops himself. Meanwhile, Bobby is a go-getter trying to get millions of dollars in donations for the LGBTQ+ museum and talking to new and old gay icons to secure the money. Which, because Bobby lacks certain social skills, leads to Aaron stepping in, and you seeing what makes this relationship great.

When it comes to Bobby and Aaron, they both inspire each other and have aspirational qualities the other doesn’t. They don’t complete one another but complement one another. Which makes loving each other all the more scary since, up until now, they didn’t have to worry about impressing parents, playing it cool, or being overbearing. They just had to be ready, willing, and have a picture ready to fulfill their carnal desires while suppressing their emotional needs.

It’ll Make You Laugh

I’m not going to pretend “Bros” is quotable movie where you’ll easily find situations from the film to use as part of your daily life. But if you are aware of gay culture, be it because you are part of the LGBTQ+ community or are a welcomed visitor, you’ll laugh. Be it because of Bobby’s commentary and sarcasm, or just moments like this guy name Steve, when Bobby and Aaron are trying to have a threesome, trying to make it a foursome and turning a hot moment into something awkward. Which it seems, based on Henry’s reaction to walking in on it, is Steve’s thing.

Low Points

Plays It Safe On Gay Sex Scenes

Am I saying that “Bros” should have had “Euphoria” level dick swinging? No. However, this is rated R, so why are people having sex under the covers is beyond me. Never mind, everything is angled to the point, at most, you may see some butt crack, maybe a cheek, or two halves of a whole behind.

It just creates the appearance that, while having a romantic comedy with an authentic gay point of view was welcomed, even talking about gay sex, someone determined they had to draw the line at depicting gay sex. At least beyond implied thrusting or someone bobbing their head towards someone’s groin.

On The Fence

Not Learning The Credentials For Everyone Else On The LGBTQ+ Board Of Directors

Beyond representing specific communities, we don’t learn what Angela, Wanda, Cherry, Robert, or Tamara have specifically done to earn a seat at the table. Why is their input so valuable, especially when you take note of how passionate and well-versed on gay history Bobby is? Don’t get me wrong, each one provides commentary and comedy, but as for their resume, we couldn’t learn about centers, books, doctorates, or something else they come to the table with?

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The movie poster for Bros, with Billy and Aaron touching each other's butt
Bros (2022) – Movie Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
While “Bros” isn’t the first gay romance movie ever, and likely not the first one to operate as a romantic comedy, it is definitely one of the few to have a high profile, a theatrical release, and not seem geared towards being inviting to a straight audience. It is very much a movie about two men dealing with the ups and downs of being in a relationship after getting comfortable in a culture where there is no shame in being promiscuous well into your forties and beyond. Then, on top of that, reconciling two different lifestyle paths and working out where there can be common ground in order to find everlasting joy.
Highlights
While There Is “Woke” Content/ Language, There Is No Sense Of Sainthood When It Comes To LGBTQ+ Characters Or The Community
Aaron and Bobby’s Relationship Journey
It’ll Make You Laugh
Disputable
Plays It Safe On Gay Sex Scenes
Not Learning The Credentials For Everyone Else On The LGBTQ+ Board Of Directors
86

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