'Bros' Is the Funniest Rom-Com in Ages

Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Starring Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Bowen Yang, Monica Raymund, Jim Rash, Guy Branum

Photo courtesy of TIFF

BY Alex HudsonPublished Sep 29, 2022

Periodically on Twitter, a specific Billy Eichner video goes viral, featuring a clip from his game show Billy on the Street in which he approaches someone and offers her a dollar if she can "name a woman." Eichner is practically screaming the question in her face, and she becomes so flustered that she can't and runs away.

As Bobby, Eichner brings some of that over-the-top energy to Bros, a rom-com in which Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) essentially plays that person on the street — the easily spooked focus of all that hilarious energy. Both Bobby and Aaron are commitment-phobic and never seem to make it past the stage of hookups and really boring texting ("Hey, what's up?"), although that's where the similarity ends; Bobby is a snarky and quick-witted podcaster who is helping to organize a new LGBTQ+ museum, while Aaron is an alpha sports bro who likes Garth Brooks and tends to go for other guys just like him.

Eichner co-wrote the script with rom-com titan Nicholas Stoller (who also directs), and he pushes his fast-paced humour to the max, scarcely letting a moment pass by without a joke or highly specific celebrity reference.

As Bobby and Aaron gradually begin to break down their walls, Bros downshifts into a more traditional rom-com pace, with Eichner's barrage of irony replaced by heartfelt reflections on vulnerability and love. Often, Bros doesn't feel all that different from past Stoller hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which, like this, was produced by Judd Apatow) — but this film's predictable and sentimental rom-com tendencies feel earned after such a non-stop funny opening half.

Along the way, Eichner throws in numerous good-natured digs about straight people's fondness for certain types of queer cinema, and their often awkward attempts to be allies. As a straight guy myself, Eichner certainly seeks to have my number, since I loved every minute of Bros.

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