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Nicholas Stoller tried to make a Brokeback parody in Bros—but no straight actors would do it - The A.V. Club

Nicholas Stoller tried to make a Brokeback parody in Bros—but no straight actors would do it - The A.V. Club

Nicholas Stoller tried to make a Brokeback parody in Bros—but no straight actors would do it - The A.V. Club
Oct 03, 2022 2 mins, 49 secs

There’s a self-awareness to Bros in telling a story that couldn’t possibly encapsulate the entire panorama of the LGBTQ+ community, but one that feels obligated to try given how few examples have come before.

So how did Stoller, who pitched Eichner the idea of a classically formulaic romantic comedy about two gay men, pull off that unlikely feat while also acknowledging its novelty?

It’s the synthesis of these elements, critical and celebratory, deeply progressive and charmingly old-fashioned, that puts Bros in conversation with queer cinema that’s come before.

How that didn’t come together is just one of the aspects of making Bros that Stoller revealed in this thoughtful conversation with The A.V.

I love making rom-coms, and for years had been intrigued by the idea of a romantic comedy about two gay men falling in love.

But because of what Bros is, we felt like we should comment on it and talk about it.

NS: I notice while screening the movie, younger audiences are starting to just really, in a great way, not care?

And she, like, doesn’t think about any of this stuff.

And particularly when I’m doing a romantic comedy, I just have to watch that one.

But when I watched that movie, I thought it’s such an awesome coming-of-age [story], in addition to a crazy night between two guys falling in love.

And so that movie was, I thought, really a cool touchstone.

But also this movie is primarily a comedy vehicle for Billy.

And he wanted to do that, too, and that’s really what we focused on more than trying to emulate any specific movie, if that makes sense.

You just touched on the idea that Bros really is grappling with masculinity?

But it’s really funny because we were doing it, and as we were shooting it, I was like, “This is a little bit of an old joke.” And then there’s a few of them this year.

We wanted to shoot a few scenes from it actually in the movie theater, like we shot like Luke and Billy watching the movie.

We worked on the script for many years, I think it’s a complicated story we’re telling, of course I’m going to think that because I’m involved in it.

But yeah, in Toronto, that was really thrilling to be part of a film festival because primarily as a comedy person, like, comedy is just never—or rarely—considered part of an awards conversation.

AVC: The Oscars, for whatever reason, have not historically gravitated toward comedy, especially romantic comedy.

Because I love romantic comedies, I think a good rom-com is very hard to make, and so relatable and so human.

I mean, the rules are different with every single person on Earth and every love story on Earth.

And it completely turned it into, like, a straight love story, instantly … It totally could have been a guy and a girl, in some way I can’t even put my finger on.

I don’t think you can have a romantic comedy that’s R-rated and not have a lot of sex.

It’s just so funny.

I said to Billy, “The only kind of sex I’d be uncomfortable shooting is earnest, sexy sex.” Like, I don’t know how Adrian Lyne does that.


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