Bobby Lieber (Billy Eichner), a podcast host and museum curator creating the world’s first LGBTQ museum, attempts a relationship with lawyer Aaron — but they must overcome their commitment problems first.
Not only is it celebratory for a major studio to release a gay rom-com, but it’s a breath of fresh air to see a movie about the LGBTQ community that isn’t gloomy or traumatizing but rather entertaining and optimistic. Through through the museum Lieber is creating, the movie is very much about embracing the queer community and undoing the centuries of history that’s been erased. Though Bros rejects the idea that gay and straight relationships are exactly the same by having its lead character claim that “Love is not love!”, as gay male relationships have their own nuances and issues, the romance will be gripping for all audience. But just as important as its representation is the fact that it’s fun, uplifting and hysterical.
Billy Eichner is a fantastic leading man who’s loving yet stubborn nature comes off as warm as it does occasionally frustrating to see him stumble and figure out his way. Eichner, who also co-wrote the movie with director Nicholas Stoller, gives even the side characters their place to shine and make the audience laugh. There’s some incredibly funny moments that will stick with you and come to mind whenever you think of this movie, and lines that are too good to spoil but are worth the laughs in a theater with an audience. Luke Macfarlane is also a breakout star and is endearing as the more “macho” gay man as opposed to Eichner’s “flamboyant”-labeled character, but as the movie mentions, the queer community is not a monolith and the film embraces lesbian, gay. bisexual, and trans characters, including those of color, in its supporting cast. Though the plot occasionally lacks direction, and it may be a few minutes too long, it’s the dialogue and humor that keeps the audience engaged, and the romance that more than gets the audience to root for the leads that grounds the whole film.
As a comedy, Bros will give you stomach-inducing laughs, and as a romance, it’s more than sweet. It’s the positive celebration of diversity that audiences, both queer and straight, will feel uplifted by, and enjoy the sweetness, silliness, and raunchiness the film has to offer.
The Woman King historical epic inspired by the true events that happened in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Viola Davis makes every performance of hers seem effortless, and her role as General Nanisca of the Agoije, the Dahomey’s all-female group of warriors who defend the Kingdom, is no exception. Davis portrays the titular character as a fighter with a tough exterior who eventually peels back layers to reveal pain she must defend herself from through physical and emotional strength. Thuso Mbedu and Lashana Lynch are both outstanding, Mbedu as a new recruit who must grow into a courageous fighter, and Lynch as a commander who gives it her all into the role physically and makes you care so much about her character.
The action is staged very well and is surprisingly strong for a PG-13 rating, but it’s never distractingly holding back from showing violence either, though nothing is disturbing here. The grandeur of the costumes and sets makes the atmosphere work so well, and the film benefits from a spectacular score from Terence Blanchard, who should at least get nominated for an Oscar. Though the film does occasionally slow down between the powerful moments, the last act especially is the most exciting, investing and empowering and elevates the entire movie. It’s a great popcorn action film but also a showcase of amazing production and performances that’s built for the big screen.
A lonely scholar, on a trip to Istanbul, discovers a Djinn who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom.
George Miller’s first film since Mad Max: Fury Road allows him to let loose as expected, but doesn’t feel as rewarding as it could have. Tilda Swinton shines in a more fun, likable role than some of her more “chameleon”-like performances, and Idris Elba is great as a Djinn tasked with most of the film’s dialogue and monologues. The production design is also very noteworthy as is the score by Tom Holkenberg, easily his best music for a film since Fury Road. However, the CGI doesn’t look as grand or convincing as it attempts to be and could’ve used some more work.
Though Swinton and Elba’s conversations about how all the ways wishes could go wrong are interesting, the stories Elba tells about his past don’t feel as powerful or intricate as the film wants you to believe. The third act feels an abrupt turn of events and certainly drags, in a way feeling anticlimactic. Upon digging, Miller has a lot of interesting things to say, whether it be about longing, imagination, or love, but he doesn’t explore them deeply enough to deliver that unexpected blow of catharsis and fulfillment that the ending wants you to experience. Perhaps this is one film that constitutes a rewatch, but only certain parts feel inviting to revisit, while others, I feel I’d simply skip over if I ever saw this film again. It’s certainly bold and like nothing that’s come out this year, and its ambition is worth commending, but for most, this isn’t worth rushing to theaters to watch.