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Nicholas Stoller
Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Guy Branum
Writing Credits:
Nicholas Stoller

Two men with commitment problems attempt a relationship.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DVS
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 116 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date:11/22/2022

• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Representation Matters” Featurette
• “From Start to Finish” Featurette
• “Introducing Bobby and Aaron” Featurette
• “The Cast and the Cameos” Featurette
• “The Art of the Rom-Com” Featurette
• “The Bros National LBGTQIA+ History Museum” Featurette
• “The Making of a Deleted Scene” Featurette


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Bros [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 15, 2023)

With Bros, we get a rom-com with an unusual focus – well, at least for mainstream US studio fare. This movie looks at love from the gay POV.

Bobby Lieber (Billy Eichner) remains happily single – until he meets Aaron Shepard (Luke Macfarlane) at a club. After some fits and starts, the pair begin to date – sort of, as both seem reluctant to commit.

As time passes, though, Bobby and Aaron begin to become more serious – again, sort of. Both find it tough to commit, so they experience a series of ups and downs as they decide what they want from each other.

Bros flopped at the box office, and Eichner loudly complained that this occurred due to homophobia. Left unsaid: gay crowds didn’t show up to see it either, for if they had, it would have pulled in more than its feeble $11 million in the US.

Going into my theatrical screening of Bros, though, I thought Eichner might be right. Based on trailers and the talent involved, I figured it'd be a funny and winning take on the rom-com.

Yikes, was I wrong. Billy Eichner creates one of the least likable characters imaginable for this sort of movie and rarely removes his apparently permanent scowl, even when the role is supposed to warm up.

Sure, I get that Bobby needs to grow and change. Bros depicts a journey that the character takes.

However, Eichner plays Bobby in a relentlessly one-note manner, and it’s not a note that endears him to the audience. Some films work just fine with unlikable leads – but not rom-coms like this, as we need to care about the main characters to make the story work.

We do mostly like Aaron, at least. Macfarlane manages to give him a certain charm, and he also depicts his role’s own path in a smooth and believable manner.

None of this really matters because Bros gets dragged down so badly by Eichner’s abrasive performance. He cuts the heart out of the movie and threatens to single-handedly crush the film.

Not that a lovable lead would save this mess, though, partly because Bros fashions itself more as a Lesson to Straight People About Gays than an actual narrative. Conveniently, Eichner chooses to make Bobby the curator of a new LGBTQ+ museum, and that allows the movie to grind to a halt to offer “learning moments”.

Too much of Bros is basically a lecture toward straight people to "teach us" gay culture. I think a fairly standard rom-com that simply happens to involve gay dudes would be more effective than "YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT GAY LIFE AND HISTORY!!"

To be clear, I don't advocate a gay rom-com that treats the romantic leads as totally detached from gay culture. Of course, such a story could exist - gays aren't some uniform species who all love Streisand and spend summers in Provincetown - but I don't think that Bros needs to be devoid of gay culture.

The movie ladles it on heavy, though. As mentioned, Bobby works to create an LGGTQ Museum, so large chunks of the movie exist solely to teacher the straights about culture/history.

Too much of this just becomes an aggressive attempt to lecture, and that detracts from the rom-com purpose of the movie. The semi-explicit sex could be viewed as out of place to, but hard-R comedies have featured not dissimilar scenes with straight characters, so I won't fault those.

Honestly, I could forgive all these choices if the damned movie was just funny - but it wasn't. I went in with expectations of laughs that never came, and that leaves Bros as a failure.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Bros appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a satisfactory presentation.

Overall sharpness seemed solid. A couple of wide shots looked a smidgen soft, but those were the exception to the rule, as the majority of the flick was accurate and detailed.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked consistently clean.

To the surprise of no one, Bros emphasized the usual teal and amber. Within those parameters, the hues were positive.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows showed good smoothness and clarity. I felt happy with the transfer.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Bros, much of the track remained fairly restrained, which seemed fine for this sort of story. Music showed nice spread and effects offered appealing breadth.

In that realm, we got ambience on streets or at clubs/restaurants. Nothing memorable came from the soundscape but it suited the story.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough. They didn’t have much to do, but they appeared reasonably accurate. All of this ended up as a perfectly positive soundtrack for this sort of movie.

When we shift to extras, a Gag Reel fills four minutes, two seconds with the usual goofs and silliness. Nothing memorable emerges.

Seven Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 13 minutes, 41 seconds. These mix short additions and more major segments.

In the latter realm, a date Bobby goes on amuses until it gets into a kinky fetish sequence that just threatens to never end. We also get a stupid fight at a pride parade.

Some of the shorter bits work okay, though. Nothing truly memorable materializes in any case.

Featurettes follow, and Representation Matters runs five minutes, 11 seconds and brings notes from co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller, producer Judd Apatow, co-writer/actor Billy Eichner, production designer Lisa Meyers, and actors Luke Macfarlane, Miss Lawrence and Dot-Marie Jones.

“Matters” looks at the decision to make a gay rom-com and casting all LGBTQIA+ actors, and the film’s message. Next to no substance appears, as “Matters” just praises those involved.

From Start to Finish lasts 13 minutes, 17 seconds and brings notes from Eichner, Stoller, Apatow, Macfarlane, Miss Lawrence, producer Josh Church, composer Marc Shaiman, and actors Guy Branum and Amanda Bearse.

Here we learn about the film’s roots and development, influences, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and music. This one mixes happy talk/self-congratulation with a smattering of good insights.

Next comes Introducing Bobby and Aaron, a five-minute, 54-second show that involves Eichner, Stoller, and Macfarlane.

We look at the leads and the actors’ performances. It’s another combination of decent thoughts and praise.

The Cast and the Cameos spans eight minutes, 24 seconds and offers remarks from Eichner, Church, Stoller, Macfarlane, Branum, Apatow, Shaiman, Miss Lawrence, and actors TS Madison, Eve Lindley, Bowen Yang, Jai Rodriguez, Debra Messing, Jim Rash and Ryan Faucett.

Unsurprisingly, we learn more about the movie’s actors. It comes with lots of happy talk and little else.

With The Art of the Rom-Com, we get a three-minute, 52-second program that gives us info from Branum, Stoller, Eichner, Rash, Lindley, Church, Bearse, Macfarlane, Shaiman, Jones, Rodriguez, and actors Monica Raymund and Guillermo Diaz.

“Art” examines aspects of romantic comedies. It offers a decent overview, albeit one that acts to promote the movie.

The Bros National LGBTQIA+ History Museum fills five minutes, 56 seconds with statements from Stoller, Eichner, and Myers.

As expected, this one looks at the movie’s museum setting and the characters connected to it. Anticipate more self-praise.

Finally, The Making of a Deleted Scene breaks into two pieces “Pride Fight”(3:23) and “Working Out” (2:52). Across these, we hear from Stoller, Madison, Miss Lawrence, Eichner, stunt coordinator Jennifer Lamb, hair department head Mitchell Beck, and actors Don Lemon, Vinny Thomas, Jay Jurden, and Benito Skinner.

We get notes about the two excised sequences. A reasonable array of notes emerges.

The disc opens with an ad for Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. No trailer for Bros appears here.

With Bros, we get a mainstream gay romantic comedy, one that comes with one of the least likable protagonists imaginable. Throw in its desire to lecture more than entertain and this becomes a massively disappointing film. The Blu-ray boasts very good visuals, acceptable audio and decent bonus materials. Maybe the next gay rom-com will work harder to entertain and less to consider itself an Important Genre Milestone.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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