Monday, December 19, 2022

BROS (Ava and C.I.)

BROS is one of the best films of 2022 -- for us, in fact, it is the best film.


Bobby (Billy Eichner) and Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) are two people that fall in love despite many obstacles in this romantic comedy from director Nicholas Stoller.  It's a magical film and we'd be thrilled to be either Bobby or Aaron in this relationship.  It's fresh, it's sweet and it's really beautiful.

We hope it gets some attention from the Academy Awards.  A best screenplay nomination for Billy and Nicholas is a nomination that's been more than earned.  

What's written works on the screen but it also works in terms of people's lives.  We were reminded of that with last week's hearing from The House Oversight and Reform Committee exploring the rise in violence against the LGBTQ+ community.  Time and again, issues the film raised popped up in the hearing.  

If you haven't seen BROS, it's now on DVD and Blu Ray and is streaming as well.  Streaming can be rented or purchased from many services including AMAZON, YOUTUBE TV and VUDU and, if you're a PEACOCK subscriber, you can stream it on PEACOCK for free.

In the film, Bobby has dinner with Aaron's family and Aaron's mother Anne (played wonderfully by Amanda Bearse) does not believe her students should be taught about any gay ancestors or any gay history.  They're just too young, she insists.  Too young to know that some men like men and some women like women?  They have classmates with gay parents.  What are you trying to protect them from?

No one's asking you to explain sex to second graders.  But you do explain couplings -- at least if it's a straight couple.  Why can't you note the same-sex coupling as well?

We were reminded of that in the hearing when Pulse Nightclub survivor Brandon Wolf was being lectured to by US House Rep Byron Donalds.  Byron isn't just a member of the House, he's also a noted criminal.  1997 saw him busted for distributing pot and, three years later, "he pleaded guilty to a felony bribery charge as part of a scheme to defraud a bank."  Donald may still have access to pot -- that would explain why he's declared his purpose to be fighting in the US against Socialism.  Or why he's an election denier who objected to Arizona and Pennsylvania's electors being certified.  In the hearing, pro-Don't Say Gay Donalds, tried to railroad Brandon Wolf.

Didn't he asked, looking for a fight, parents have rights with regards to their children's education.  Yes, they did.  Brandon didn't disagree.  He thought the school and education benefited.  Puzzled, Byron Douglas then tried to call out Brandon because superintendents of schools have rights too!!!

Brandon never said that they didn't.  But children have rights to.  And children in schools do include gay children, yes, children that young can already know they're gay.  While straight kids get affirmed, the others suffer.  They're not represented.  They have no idea what they can be.

And that's a point Bobby makes to Aaron's mother.  If he'd been exposed to possibilities earlier in life, he might not hate his life right now.


Inside Out Youth Services' Dr Jessie Pocock noted in the hearing:

It is not okay that we expect more maturity and compassion from our youth than the public servants entrusted with their care.  Daily, our staff sit with youth experiencing suicidal thoughts who are impacted by these types of harmful and inaccurate messages. It is not the fact these youths are LGBTQ that puts them at risk.  It's the way our culture views them. Their mental health is impacted when politicians legislate away their rights, when they witness unmitigated hate speech on social media.  This is not normal.  This is not okay.  These are kids.


And they need real protection which isn't ignorance, it's awareness.  They need to know that they are natural and normal and nothing is wrong with them.  

In the film, when Anne realizes the harm that's been inflicted on her son, she comes around to the need for teaching gay history. 

Bobby also takes on the efforts to erase LGBTQ+ individuals.  That's why he's a curator for the country's first LGBTQ+ museum.  


And the Committee members worked overtime to erase all LGBTQ+ individuals.  They did it over and over throughout the hearing.

We've knocked Byron Douglas but, in fairness to him, he's the only one who could say LGBTQ+ -- the only one on the Republican side.


The others -- in a hearing entitled "The Rise of Anti-LGBTQI+ Extremism and Violence in the United States" -- avoided the term.  Over and over.  They erased over and over.


Take Ranking Member James Comer who served up an opening statement that was over 640 words long but never included LGBTQ+.  He did include attacks on African-Americans, Asian communities, Jewish communities, Christian communities, churches, pro-life institution, all races and ethnicities but never managed to say LGBTQ+.


Erasing was happening right there in the hearing. 

An important moment in the film is when Bobby discusses how he's had to struggle and how he's had to endure people trying to shame him over who he is.


 Comer reminded us of that as well -- when Club Q survivor Michael Anderson declared:

To my fellow LGBTQ community, events like this are designed to discourage us from speaking and living our truth.  They are designed to scare us from living openly, courageously and proudly.  We must not succumb to fear, we must live prouder and louder than ever before.  We must continue to be who we are, for who we are is exactly who we are meant to be.  And to the children watching this, feeling you may not be like other kids:  I understand you and I see you.  You deserve to be exactly who you are, no matter what anyone has to say.  In the words of my personal gay icon Christina Aguilera, you are beautiful no matter what they say.  Words can't bring you down, so don't let them bring you down today.

 The look on Comer's face was that of someone attempting not to roll their eyes.  

It was just too much for Comer.

And BROS was too much for some audiences.  Because it's real.  It's funny.  It's hilarious.  And it takes shots at everyone, it's not 'woke' humor (whatever that is).  But it's also incredibly real.  And it could sure use some love for what it accomplished.  It's rightly been nominated for Best Comedy by the Critics' Choice Movie Awards and the Hollywood Critics Association Award.  It's also won a Hollywood Music in Media Award for "Love Is Not Love" (written by Billy).

If you've got the time, stream BROS -- make the time in fact.  It's hilarious and it actually has something to say about the world we're living in right now.


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