Gay writer slates same-sex rom-com, Bros, after writer blames audience

‘Bros bombed because it’s a preachy, self-indulgent dumpster fire!’ Gay journalist slates same-sex rom-com after its writer Billy Eichner claimed homophobic straights were to blame for its poor takings

  • Journalist Isaac Grafstein proclaimed Bros to be ‘a preachy, self-indulgent dumpster fire’
  • Bros, which had a $22 million production budget, has so far grossed $10.8m
  • Actor-writer Eichner, 44, took to Twitter earlier this month to share his disappointment over the film’s performance 
  • He said that ‘straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for Bros’ 
  • He urged ‘everyone who ISN’T homophobic weirdo should go see BROS tonight’
  • Film is the first LGBTQ romantic comedy given a large release by a major studio 
  • Although Grafstein argues Bros is not alone – and that there have been plenty of other storylines across recent popular culture involving gay romance

A gay journalist has tried to explain why fellow writer and actor Billy Eichner’s film Bros tanked at the box office.

Billed as the first gay rom-com from a major Hollywood studio, Isaac Grafstein wrote in Common Sense that the flick is a ‘preachy, self-indulgent dumpster fire.’

‘The two long hours are replete with partisan finger-wagging, lamentations about erasure, and performative apologies from Bobby [Eichner’s character in the movie] for being a ‘cis white guy.’ 

Earlier this month, Eichner essentially blamed bigotry as the reason for his film’s flop.

 Billy Eichner, 44, opened up earlier this month about the happiness he has for how his film Bros turned out, and disappointment about its performance at the box office

Luke Macfarlane, left, and Billy Eichner are pictured in a scene from their new movie ‘Bros’

Despite opening in more than 3,000 theaters, being heavily marketed by Universal Pictures and costing $22million to produce, the movie took less than $5million at North American theaters on its opening weekend and has so far grossed $10.8million.

Gay journalist Isaac Grafstein proclaimed Bros to be ‘a preachy, self-indulgent dumpster fire’

‘That’s just the world we live in, unfortunately. Even with glowing reviews… straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for Bros,’ Eichner, who co-wrote and stars in the film, tweeted earlier this month.

‘And that’s disappointing but it is what it is.’

The movie follows Bobby, a successful New York-based podcaster who insists he is content being single even as his friends couple up, before his life is changed by an encounter with an equally commitment-phobic lawyer.

Made with an entire cast of openly LGBTQ actors, it features several sex scenes, including one with four men engaged in group sex, and is rated R for ‘restricted.’

Eichner starred and co-wrote the film, which is the first LGBTQ romantic comedy given a large release by a major studio 

At its world premiere at the Toronto film festival last month, Eichner said it was ‘absurd and infuriating’ that it had taken so long for a major Hollywood studio to release a film like ‘Bros.’

‘There should be tons of these movies by now. But still, I’m very grateful that Universal finally decided that it was time,’ he said.

‘Bros’ director Nicholas Stoller said he hoped the film might prevail at the box office in order to show ‘the studios that there is a big audience for this kind of story, and not just an LGBTQ audience, but a straight audience.’

That now seems less certain, although box office analyst David A. Gross of Franchise Entertainment Research noted that the film’s figures represented ‘a fair opening by mainstream romantic comedy standards,’ as the once wildly popular genre has been ‘under pressure for a number of years.’

‘There are no norms for gay film stories because there have been so few of them. Those few that came before generally featured funny gay shtick,’ he wrote. 

Luke Macfarlane, left, and Billy Eichner are pictured together in a scene from ‘Bros’ – a story in which two men with commitment problems attempt to have a relationship

But Grafstein argues to the contrary that Bros is not alone – and that there have indeed been plenty of other storylines across recent popular culture involving gay romance.

‘Bros is definitely not ‘groundbreaking’.  When Jack tells Ennis, in Brokeback Mountain, ‘I wish I knew how to quit you’—that was groundbreaking. Modern Family’s most beloved characters were Cam and Mitchell.

‘The feel-good romcom Love, Simon nudges gay teenagers to come out of the closet.

‘The award-winning Orange Is the New Black revolves around a brigade of multifaceted, multiracial lesbian prisoners.

‘And guess what? Tons of straight deplorables across the country lapped it up.

‘All of these stories implicitly make the case for real inclusivity by featuring characters who are just regular old, tragic, funny, complicated human beings.

‘Gay entertainment should not rely on banal identity-obsession, old resentments, or performative progressivism,’ Grafstein continues. 

‘When I go to a movie—including a movie that features gay romance—I want irreverence and plot twists and provocation and an escape from politics and virtue signaling. And when it’s a comedy, I want it to be, you know, funny,’ he notes.

The romantic comedy features Eichner, left, and Luke Macfarlane 

In a series of tweets earlier this month, Eichner said he had attended a ‘Bros’ screening in liberal Los Angeles where the audience response was ‘truly magical,’ but said an unnamed theater chain had threatened to not show the film’s trailer ‘because of the gay content.’

‘Everyone who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo should go see BROS tonight! You will have a blast!’ he added.

‘And it is special and uniquely powerful to see this particular story on a big screen, esp for queer folks who don’t get this opportunity often.’

Grafstein also took issue with Eichner’s choice of words.

‘Bigotry is not to blame for the failure of Bros. In fact, most Americans don’t care whom you sleep with (or marry!) and have seen complex, three-dimensional gay characters on their screens for years, from Milk to Moonlight. 

Eichner said he was happy with the finished version of the motion picture 

He said that the film did not receive enough support from ‘straight people, especially in certain parts of the country’

He encouraged movie watchers to give the film a chance while it’s in theaters 

Source: Read Full Article