Hallmark Christmas movies, and I’ve always enjoyed Macfarlane’s work as a charming romantic lead in them, but “Bros” offers the kind of complexity and shading (to say nothing of humor) that Hallmark never could.
Anyone coming into this film only knowing Macfarlane for his cozy cable movies will leave with a new appreciation of this versatile actor’s wheelhouse.Cinematographer Brandon Trost (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) bathes the film in a romantic-comedy glow, whether Bobby and Aaron are falling for each other in Manhattan or in Provincetown, and overall, “Bros” harkens back to old-school rom-coms and their more recent iterations. (Bobby curls up with “You’ve Got Mail” at one point, and of course a major confrontation has to take place at the foot of one of the city’s many bridges.) But it’s also a throwback to that moment not so long ago when new Judd Apatow movies were something to look forward to; it helps that director Nicholas Stoller previously made two of the best ones, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and the underappreciated, Rohmer-esque “The Five-Year Engagement.”The Big Gesture that’s baked into every rom-com feels a little different here; not only does it bring the characters together and deliver them to a new understanding of themselves and others, it provides a moment for all the film’s characters — gay, lesbian, bi, trans, non-binary, even straight — to come together for a moment of joyous community. (I won’t give away the song choice, but cheers to music supervisor Rob Lowry for picking just the right utopian dancefloor anthem, covered by just the right ally.)“Bros” matters because it cracks the corporate glass ceiling just a little bit more.
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