By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Lots of sex, language in hilarious gay romcom.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie is essentially about learning to trust others by communicating -- and thus risking the possibility of getting hurt. Also has messages about how strong the LGBTQ+ community is when it unites across its differences.
Positive Role Models
Characters are far from perfect and don't always model admirable behavior, but in the overall arc, both main characters work hard to achieve their dreams. Their relationship showcases believable struggles with personal achievement and the sometimes oppressive male beauty standards in their dating world. People of all types show up for each other, care about each other's lives.
This is the first mainstream gay romantic comedy released widely by a major studio, and virtually every person in the movie (and many behind the scenes as well) identifies as LGBTQ+. The two main characters are White cisgender men, but supporting characters span sexual and gender identities and are racially diverse, including Black and Latino actors like Ts Madison and Monica Raymund, plus a cameo by Bowen Yang.
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Violence & Scariness
Character throws huge tantrum ("roid rage"), screaming and throwing things. Characters play-fight, shoving and slapping each other (which turns into sexual foreplay). Character tries to shave bottom, cuts self, some blood shown. Brief fight behind bar.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters have multiple sexual partners. Two characters perform oral sex on a third while a fourth watches; they're all naked, but no sensitive body parts are shown. Foursome on bed, shirtless, kissing, heavy breathing. Sex, with kissing and thrusting. A character ejaculates on his partner's legs below the frame, suggested by movement and sounds. Three characters enter a romantic/sexual relationship known as a "throuple." Characters kiss, remove shirts. Kissing bicep, sucking on fingers, feet, etc. Character tries to take photo of own bottom; partial naked bottom shown. Shirtless men. Characters lie in bed together, post-sex. Lots of very strong sex-related dialogue. Grindr app shown/mentioned.
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Very strong language, with tons of uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "a--hole," "goddamn," "ass," "son of a bitch," "bitch," "boner," "d--k," "penis," "anal," "f--gy," "hell," "oh my God," "horny," "stupid."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters take "poppers" and inject testosterone/steroids. Group of people drinking wine in restaurant. Characters drink beer while on vacation.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bros is a romantic comedy starring Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane as two men who prefer their freedom but find themselves romantically drawn to each other. It's the first gay romcom to get a wide theatrical release by a major studio, and virtually every person in the movie (and many behind the scenes as well) identifies as LGBTQ+. It has lots of sexual content, including characters with multiple partners, kissing, oral sex, heavy breathing, thrusting, strong sex-related dialogue, etc. There's quite a bit of flesh on display, too, but no graphic nudity. Language is very strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "bitch," and more. Characters take "poppers" and inject themselves with steroids and testosterone, and there's social drinking. Characters have a slapping play-fight that leads to sex, there's a brief fight behind a bar, and a character throws a "roid rage" tantrum, shouting and throwing things. Underlying the mature content is a message about learning to trust others by communicating.
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What's the Story?
In BROS, Bobby (Billy Eichner) hosts a gay-themed podcast and is struggling to open an LGBTQ+ museum. He believes that he's better off not being in a relationship and prefers the occasional hookup. At a club, he meets handsome Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), an unhappy lawyer who dreams of opening a chocolate shop. There's a clear attraction, but Aaron -- who prefers having sex with more than one partner -- is as reluctant as Bobby to let anything get too deep. But as they start spending time together, they discover, to their horror, that they're very good for each other. But when Bobby meets Aaron's parents at Christmastime and an old crush of Aaron's comes out as gay, the men have a huge argument. Can they find it in their hearts to give each other a second chance?
Is It Any Good?
Built on the creaky old bones of the romcom genre, this progressive landmark of a film fleshes itself out with a self-aware, slap-happy sense of humor. Here's hoping that the fresh, lovable result has wide appeal. Recognized as the first gay romantic comedy ever widely released in theaters by a major studio, Bros comes from the minds of writer and actor Eichner, writer-director Nicholas Stoller, and producer Judd Apatow. Their combined expertise results in a movie that's funny and honest. Many jokes will particularly resonate with LGBTQ+ audiences, but even more are universal, and many of those land with belly laughs, especially the scenes that parody Hallmark Christmas movies and co-star Bowen Yang's bonkers moments.
Bros isn't shy about sex: It depicts -- with a lot of flesh yet without much graphic nudity -- situations with multiple partners and odd or awkward encounters, contrasting those with moments of actual trust and love. The romance sequences also feel spot-on, as characters attempt to balance opening up to another person with fears of getting hurt. Dating montages, cameos by various stars, the Big Argument, characters becoming better people to earn their partners back, and the final Grand Gesture will all feel familiar to those well-versed in romcoms -- sometimes too familiar for a movie that runs almost two hours -- but there's an energy that powers through them, maintaining viewers' goodwill. Overall, Bros feels like a solid combination of bold and safe, funny and touching. Perhaps it will join some of its heteronormative inspirations, like When Harry Met Sally, as a re-watchable favorite.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Bros' depiction of sex. What values are imparted? What's the difference between hookups and sex between people in a relationship?
Does Bros' recognition as the first gay romcom to get a wide theatrical release by a major studio create higher than usual expectations for the film? Does it meet those expectations?
How are drugs (poppers, steroids, testosterone) depicted here? Are substances glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?
How authentically does the movie represent people in the LGBTQ+ community? Did you notice any stereotypes? Why is diverse representation in the media important?
Do you consider the characters role models? Are some of the real-life people in the movie (Harvey Fierstein, Amanda Bearse, etc.) role models?
- In theaters: September 30, 2022
- On DVD or streaming: November 22, 2022
- Cast: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Bowen Yang
- Director: Nicholas Stoller
- Studio: Universal
- Genre: Comedy
- Character Strengths: Communication
- Run time: 115 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, language throughout and some drug use
- Last updated: March 29, 2023
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