May 22, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LGBTQ Movie ‘Bros’ Flopped, but Still Important for Representation

By Susan Payne

“Bros” features an all-LGBTQ principal cast in a big-studio romantic comedy among challenging political times for the community and was recently reviewed by USA Today’s David Oliver.

The movie opened with $4.8 million at North American theatres at the end of September and finished fourth place behind new horror flick “Smile,” “Don’t Worry Darling,” and Viola Davis’ “The Woman King,” according to Oliver. 

Co-writer and star Billy Eichner took to Twitter and slightly attributed the low box office numbers to homophobia. 

“Even with glowing reviews, great Rotten Tomatoes scores, an A CinemaScore etc, straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for Bros,” Eichner wrote on Twitter Sunday. “And that’s disappointing.”

Although Eichner has a point, homophobia might have been one reason it didn’t succeed. The high amount of due widespread anti-LGBTQ sentiment and legislation across the nation could be another part. 

Eighteen states have block transgender youth from playing in sports according to their gender identity. Although politically challenged, Hollywood should keep taking risks on LGBTQ films, Oliver said. 

“Without mainstream film representation, LGBTQ people will only feel that much more stuck on the sidelines of society,” Oliver said. 

Oliver wrote that he walked into a “Bros” screening with high expectations. The trailer featured hot men who would inevitably end up together after a series of traditional rom-com trials and tribulations with the added twist of homosexual high jinks – a meet-cute at a gay bar! Gay sex! Inter-LGBTQ community arguments!

“Bobby Leiber (Eichner) and Aaron Shepard (Luke Macfarlane) fell in love, broke up and got back together in less than two hours – I’ve fallen in and out of love with a man in less time, honestly – pushing each other to look inward to accept themselves in order to love and accept the other fully. And this all happened against “a backdrop of NSFW selfies, casual group sex and indiscriminate steroid injections,” as my colleague Edward Segarra points out,” Oliver wrote in the USA Today article. 

Oliver said he laughed a lot, teared up and questioned his own insecurities about body image and masculinity during the film. 

Bobby Leiber (Eichner) and Aaron Shepard (Luke Macfarlane) fell in love, broke up and got back together in less than two hours – I’ve fallen in and out of love with a man in less time, honestly – pushing each other to look inward to accept themselves in order to love and accept the other fully. And this all happened against “a backdrop of NSFW selfies, casual group sex and indiscriminate steroid injections,” as my colleague Edward Segarra points out,” Oliver said. 

While no movie can represent everyone, films like Hulu’s “Fire Island” and Paramount+’s “Three Months” contribute to LGBTQ representation. 

Oliver finished his review of the movie with the following statements:

“The more you make, the more opportunities to find a sweet spot. But more importantly – stay with me, Hollywood – the more you make, the more opportunities there are for people to see parts of themselves onscreen they may not even know exist.

“People need to watch themselves have a main-character moment instead of settling for another interpretation of the sassy sidekick. That way, we can make room for LGBTQ people of color, particularly trans women of color, to land leading roles, too.

“I will encourage everyone I know to go see “Bros” when they can. But I don’t fault anyone for waiting for it to stream. Movies are expensive! We are still in a pandemic! I get it. But seeing this movie means you are seeing me. My friends. My life. 

“We finally got it. Let’s get more.”

in NEWS
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