Bros review: Uproariously funny and open-hearted comedy will have you gasping for breath

We all love streaming, of course we do, and we all still understand there is an immersive experience that is lost when we watch certain movies at home instead of the cinema.

Usually, that conversation is about blockbusters with lots of stunts, action and loud sound design. Or a visually arresting piece from an auteur filmmaker.

For better or worse, audiences have come to accept there are some movies you just don’t “need” to go to the cinema for, and those genres have migrated to streaming platforms in the first course.

Comedy is one of those genres, with audiences happy to have a chuckle from their couch. Few are the cinematic releases for a mid-budget comedy even though not many years ago, it was a staple at the multiplex.

We flocked to rom-coms including Bridesmaids or guffawed through star vehicles such as Date Night. In 2022, they would probably go direct to streaming. Pandemic shut-downs only accelerated the trend.

So when a studio comedy is released at the cinema now, it’s notable, they’re endangered species. Even more notable is one that doesn’t star George Clooney and Julia Roberts but Billy Eichner and Luke McFarlane, one a well-known but not uber-famous comic and another whose profile is mostly limited to Hallmark romances.

Bros is the first gay rom-com to be released into cinemas by a major studio, which in itself is conspicuous considering it’s already 2022. There were those that almost made it, such as Happiest Season, which got a cinema release in Australia but was diverted to streaming in the US during the flood of studios dumping their movies because of the pandemic.

So Bros being elevated by its cinema release and the marketing campaign to match it means something. But perhaps you don’t care so much about the cultural markers, and you shouldn’t see a movie only because it’s socially significant.

See Bros because it’s funny. In fact, it’s uproariously hilarious. It’s an open-hearted rom-com which both leans into the tropes but also livens it up with its sassy dialogue, charismatic characters and a romance you want to root for.

Eichner co-wrote the film with director Nicholas Stoller, and the cast, except for a few cameos, are gay – and more than a few jokes about straight actors playing gay cowboys in their quest for Oscars glory.

Eichner plays Bobby, a 40-year-old New York podcaster who’s been contentedly self-sufficient his whole adult life. Then he meets Aaron, an Adonis-like estate lawyer who says he doesn’t want anything serious.

They clearly spark and they both have to work out if they want to share their lives with another person, especially someone who seems to be their opposite.

It’s a classic rom-com arc and there’s a lot of comfort in its familiarity while Bros generously peppers each moment with brassy jokes – including a lot of jibes specific to the gay community but ones that are also universally relatable, like taking the perfect butt picture for a dating app.

It’s a proper, laugh-out-loud comedy which have you gasping for breath one minute and hands clapped over your mouth the next – yes, they went there.

Which brings us back to comedies and cinema. Just like horror, comedy is always better in a collective. You cannot replicate the same communal, shared laughter at home unless you have a plush screening room with room for dozens and the will to host as many.

Bros is a movie best seen on a Friday or Saturday night, at the busiest session you can find, with a crowd geared up for a good time. Sure, you could see it at home on streaming in a few months’ time, but you will have lost something from the experience.

Given that this is also one of the few big comedies released in a cinema – and a great one that – it would be a real shame for you to not rush in.

Rating: 4/5

Bros is in cinemas now

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