Representation does matter, absolutely. So, before I say anything else, I must admit that Bros, a new romantic comedy about an open and proud gay man struggling in the dating world, is a breath of incredibly gay fresh air. It comes on the heels of 2020’s Happiest Season, writer/director Clea Duvall’s holiday comedy about a heretofore closeted lesbian who brings her girlfriend home for Christmas, which was also a hugely groundbreaking and significant step forward in queer storytelling in mainstream Hollywood films. Up until then, queer stories have been largely in the background—if that–in big-budget Hollywood films, as witty sidekicks or tragic figures, succumbing to violence, plagues or suicidal and self-loathing tendencies. So, yes, to have had Happiest Season and Bros, two major, mainstream Hollywood movies, come within two years of each other, which aren’t just significant for centering on gay characters, but for actually being HAPPY stories, is a wonderful thing. It’s a major step forward, and I’m here for all of it.
But you need more than good intentions to make a good movie. And, sadly, Bros is a film that falls way short of its potential, largely due to its own unattainable aspirations and overly inflated desire to jump the queer genre forward by so many steps, it overshoots the mark wildly.