Popular culture

Billy Eichner, a gay writer, claimed homophobic straight audiences were to blame

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

Billed as the first gay rom-com from a major Hollywood studio, Isaac Grafstein wrote in Common Sense that the film is a “preaching, indulgent dumpster fire”.

“The two long hours are filled with partisan fuss, lamentations over erasure and performative apologies from Bobby [Eichner’s character in the movie] to be a “cis white guy”.

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

Billy Eichner, 44, spoke earlier this month about how happy he is with the turn of his film Bros and his disappointment with its box office performance

Luke Macfarlane, left, and Billy Eichner are pictured in a scene from their new film 'Bros'

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

Despite opening in over 3,000 theaters, being heavily marketed by Universal Pictures, and costing $22 million to produce, the film went on to gross less than $5 million in North American theaters. Americans in its opening weekend and has so far grossed $10.8 million.

Bhz gay

Gay journalist Isaac Grafstein proclaimed Bros to be “a moralizing, self-indulgent dumpster fire”

“It’s just the world we live in, unfortunately. Even with rave reviews…straight people, especially in some parts of the country, just haven’t shown up for Bros,” tweeted Eichner, who co-wrote. -written and starred in the film, earlier this month.

“And it’s disappointing but it is what it is.”

The film follows Bobby, a successful New York-based podcaster who insists he’s content to be single even though his friends are dating, before his life is changed by an encounter with an all-out lawyer. also phobic of commitment.

Made with an entire cast of openly LGBTQ actors, it features several sex scenes, including one with four men engaging in group sex, and is rated R for “Restricted”.

Eichner starred in and co-wrote the film, which is the first large-scale LGBTQ romantic comedy released by a major studio.

Eichner starred in and co-wrote the film, which is the first large-scale LGBTQ romantic comedy released by a major studio.

At its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last month, Eichner said it was “absurd and infuriating” that it took a major Hollywood studio so long to release a movie like “Bros.”

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

‘Bros’ director Nicholas Stoller said he hoped the movie would win at the box office to show “studios that there’s 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 numbers represented “a fair opening by traditional romantic comedy standards” as the once very Popular has been ‘under pressure for a number of years.’

“There are no standards for gay film stories because there have been so few. The few that preceded it usually featured fun gay shticks,’ he wrote.

Luke Macfarlane, left, and Billy Eichner are pictured together in a scene from 'Bros' - a story in which two men with commitment issues try to have a relationship

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

But Grafstein instead argues that Bros is not alone – and that there have indeed been plenty of other stories in recent popular culture involving gay romance.

“Bros is definitely not ‘revolutionary.’ When Jack said to Ennis in Brokeback Mountain, ‘I wish I knew how to leave you’, it was revolutionary. Modern Family’s most beloved characters were Cam and Mitchell.

‘The feel-good romantic comedy Love, Simon pushes gay teens to come out of the closet.

“The award-winning film Orange Is the New Black revolves around a brigade of multifaceted and multiracial lesbian prisoners.

‘And guess what? Tons of deplorable straight people across the country drank it.

“All of these stories implicitly make the case for true inclusivity by featuring characters who are just ordinary, tragic, funny, complicated human beings.

“Gay entertainment shouldn’t be based on banal identity obsession, old resentments, or performative progressivism,” Grafstein continues.

“When I go to the movies, including a movie that features a gay romance, I want irreverence, twists and turns, an escape from politics and signals of virtue. And when it’s a comedy, I want it to be, you know, funny,” he notes.

The romantic comedy stars Eichner, left, and Luke Macfarlane

The romantic comedy stars Eichner, left, and Luke Macfarlane

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

“Anyone who IS NOT a homophobic weirdo should go see BROS tonight!” You will enjoy !’ he added.

“And it’s special and especially powerful to see this particular story on the big screen, especially for queer people who don’t often get that opportunity.”

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

Bigotry isn’t to blame for the failure of Bros. In fact, most Americans don’t care who 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 final version of the film

Eichner said he was happy with the final version of the film

He said the movie didn’t get enough support from “heterosexual people, especially in some parts of the country.”

He encouraged moviegoers to give the film a shot while it’s in theaters