brothers follows Bobby Lieber (Billy Eichner), a successful writer and podcast host turned curator at the National Museum of LGBTQ+ History and Culture who enjoys his life as a carefree, self-sufficient single man (so he’s never let down by homosexuality). ). dating scene). That is until Bobby meets Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), an idiotic estate attorney who doesn’t adhere to Bobby’s stereotypes but shares his disdain for vulnerability and monogamy. Despite their individual differences and romantic reservations, the pair ignite the spark, and as their connection grows, Bobby and Aaron are forced to confront the insecurities, shame and regrets that previously kept them from forming healthy relationships.
brothers was directed by noted comedy filmmaker Nicholas Stoller, who previously directed Forgetting Sarah Marshallthe neighbours movies, and The fifth year of commitment – along with writing and/or producing credits in derailed train, The MuppetsY Undeclared, among others. Stoller partnered with Eichner on the brothers Screenplay: Combines Eichner’s trademark edge and acerbic wit with Stoller’s mastery of comic timing mixed with sincerity. brothers doesn’t necessarily break new ground in its formula, following a relatively straightforward series of ups and downs for Bobby and Aaron’s relationship; Still, the rom-com template works like a subversion, which is an intentional choice here, as the writing team delivers an uncompromising yet charming exploration of gay relationships.
To that end, brothers It’s not just a gay romantic comedy, it’s a heartfelt exploration (and unabashed celebration) of the myriad ways people express and experience love in the modern world, and one that acknowledges the countless souls who made it possible to celebrate that love openly. many of whom did not live long enough to see it. In fact, one of brothersThe most insightful and self-aware points emerge from Bobby’s own struggles with his place in the LGBTQ+ community, as a cisgender white gay man in a world where sexism, racial stereotyping, body dysmorphia, and gender identity produced additional challenges for your friends. overcome that even he cannot fully understand. Despite the good he’s done in the world, Bobby isn’t the “hero” of his story, he’s full of genuine flaws (not just plot-advance shortcomings) that provide authentic insight into the experiences, both good and bad. . , which shaped his view of his world. The result is a poignant and sometimes challenging, but always authentic window into the world that Bobby (and many others) navigate every day.
While some moviegoers may be surprised to hear that Eichner, best known for Funny or Die/truTV‘s “Billy on the Street” skits (along with supporting appearances in everything from Parks and Recreation a Indictment: American Crime Story), would be starring in an introspective romantic comedy, the actor meets the moment. Eichner’s performance is vulnerable and self-aware, particularly in a monologue on the beach in Provincetown, which offers several truly harrowing scenes of bare insight inspired by the actor’s own experiences, regrets and realizations.
Of course, it’s fun to see Eichner lean into the rambunctious, opinionated character that makes his comedy so enjoyable, and brothers it gives Eichner plenty of opportunities to push boundaries (and elicit hilarious reactions from the supporting characters). Still, it is the more thoughtful and intimate scenes that have been crafted into his script with Stoller that will win audiences’ sympathy for the comedian and hopefully open the doors for Eichner to explore additional dramatic work in the future. .
Macfarlane, who has starred in a number of Hallmark TV movies (of which the Bros mentions repeatedly), leads the supporting cast and plays a major foil, both comedy and chemistry, to Eichner. Macfarlane doesn’t have as many scene-stealing moments of social insight as Eichner, but he imbues Aaron with sincerity and heart, ensuring that despite the character’s personal shortcomings, viewers will understand why Billy is drawn to him and wants to root for him. them as a couple.
Stoller and Eichner made sure that the rest of the cast is diverse and representative of the LGBTQ+ community (in fact brothers is the first film with an all-LGBTQ+ main cast), with supporting roles for Ts Madison, Guy Branum, Eve Lindley, Dot-Marie Jones, Jim Rash, Symone, as well as Bowen Yang and the iconic Harvey Fierstein, just to name a few. . Although many of the actors have played LGBTQ+ characters in previous roles, there is something truly moving about seeing them embrace roles in a film that goes to great lengths to celebrate modern sex, gender, and romance in all its forms.
Finally, brothers it comes close to its rom-com inspirations and audiences will no doubt be able to anticipate the incoming plot beats ahead of time; still, in this case, a family history only further highlights what is unique. Eichner and Stoller use their romantic comedy template as an effective framework for juxtaposition and serious exploration of Bobby and Aaron’s ups and downs and personal revelations. brothers is packed with equal parts irreverent comedy and universal truth, as well as a clear message to its viewers: love is love.
brothers opens in theaters on September 30. It is 115 minutes long and is rated R for strong sexual content, some drug use, and language throughout.
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