The Gays Do It Better: Bros (2022) - Reviewed

It would be easy to assign historical significance to something that breaks into the mainstream after years on the sidelines. Perhaps a film that is the first of its kind to be distributed by a major studio could be described as pioneering and revolutionary. And Bros easily fits that description by taking characters who are usually only seen as the gay best friend of the female lead and making them the protagonists. 

Co-written by leading man Billy Eichner, the film smartly uses the romcom formula, but delivers so much more. It does so by weaving in gay history, realistic gay dating and Gindr experiences, a bit of generational reflection past trauma and the space that queer people have had to exist in, and a more realistic ending for gay relationships. 

The comedy works very well with Eichner’s angry/difficult person diatribes not becoming the sole source of the jokes. Though a few lines seem slightly shoehorned in, many more naturally flow from the conversations, sharp satire of Hallmark Channel ‘inclusivity’, and gay culture.


Gay historian and podcast host Billy Leiber (Eichner) begins the movie describing himself as ‘not a relationship guy’ and suffering the realities of Grindr hookups. He meets Aaron Shepard (Luke McFarlane), a beefy, bro-y, estate lawyer, at a club when they lock eyes from across the room. Their awkward conversations at the club are entertaining and lead to them both to learning that neither are ‘looking’ and not interested in being in a relationship. 

Their meetcute leads to more hanging out and, because this is a romcom, dating and romance. The plot covers so much of the gay experience with Eichner’s more effeminate character representing one end of the spectrum and McFarlane’s straight-passing one the more masculine end. Open relationships and the use of testosterone, among many other aspects of gay life, are addressed with honesty and boldness. 

Additionaly, the entire spectrum of queer identities and experiences are represented very well throughout and also played for laughs with Eichner’s character having to wrangle queer board members of a soon-to-open LGBTQ+ museum. This formation of the museum allows for some riotous cameos and surprises not revealed in any of the trailers. 

Though there could be debate about this being the first gay romcom, this is the first of its kind distributed by a major studio. Additionally, 99% of the cast identify as queer, according to promotional interviews. So, in a turn that’s more than fair given the history of straight actors playing queer parts, queer actors played straight roles in this movie.  

This intentionality comes through in the more realistic issues and experiences of the characters and in the intelligent take on the genre that raises the bar for romcoms. So, in this case, you could say that the gays do it better. 

Bros releases in theaters on Sept. 30th

-Eric Beach