At Wells Hall, Universal Studios is a frequent visitor, supplying exclusive movie premiere screeners to the Residence Hall Association and college movie goers. The most recent premiere on Sept. 29 was Billy Eichner and Judd Apatow's new rom com: "Bros."
In the past, students gathered to watch "Dear Evan Hansen." Campus cinema volunteer and psychology senior Arsh Rathod said they want to share advanced screenings that mean the most to college students.
“It's mostly the bigger movies that they want to get more hype out of, so they're right now trying to inspire other people to come out and see the movie," Rathod said.
Rathod loved the "Bros" premiere, a fan of Eichner's other works in the comedy realm.
“It's just totally heartwarming," Rathod said. "I realized while watching the movie that there is not any LGBT rom coms, at all, which it really gives you a perspective on how heterosexual-like movies are.”
The new movie follows "Billy on the Street" star Billy Eichner as Bobby Lieber, the neurotic, yet charming and funny podcast host and LGBTQ+ pop culture icon. It shows his journey through the modern dating world, dealing with new feelings of vulnerability with his love interest, Aaron, for the first time in his life.
The movie, while providing queer representation, pokes fun at the idea that the representation being shown is a cisgender, white and gay man. The idea of this being the norm in mainstream media portrayals of queer people is poked at many times and reaches out to the rest of the community, speaking on the bravery of trans and people of color in the community working ten times harder for representation that who Eichner portrays.
The movie portrays both actual social commentary on advocacy in the community and comments on fake "wokeness" that the community is inundated with, as it's become cool to be outspoken on social media with performative advocates.
“I think it's good because it kind of pokes at being progressive," psychology junior Jozzy Rivera said.
With this openness in talking about sexuality, the movie is also liberal in its depiction of sexuality. Its racy moments work because they are paired with laughs, making it perfect for the rom-com genre.
The movie focuses on the differences between straight couples and queer couples, but frames it in a comedically. The film mixes the social commentary and comedy in a digestible way.
One of the best parts of the movie was its dense script, filled with joke after joke, a product of clever writing.
“I felt like it had a realistic representation," graphic design freshman Hana Kojima said. "It didn't seem too forced or written by straight people.”
The writing was abrasive and in your face, symbolically depicting exactly what I love about Eichner's personality.
While littered with jokes with connections to social issues and pop culture, the movie simultaneously served as a soapbox for Eichner. It seemed like a story close to his heart and his personal life, with both his heart and humor softening the blow of some of the harder hitting moments.
The writing also still held up during emotional parts of the story, emphasizing the importance of emotional intelligence and vulnerability, even while the main characters struggled with that throughout their relationship.
There was seamless tone changes throughout the film, all of the emotions weaved throughout perfectly. For example, the self acceptance motif was founded in the quirkiness of Eichner's character.
I thought Eichner's acting was amazing (as always), but was not impressed with anyone else's, including his love interest. However, they were a perfect depiction of foil characters, and opposites attract.
“I just feel like the idea of having representation is important," Kojima said. "I don't really like care about the takeaway … it's not a huge expectation.”
I didn't love the trope at the end, where Lieber sang a tribute to his love interest. It could have been purposefully corny, as I know most of Eichner's comedy is satirical, but it seemed to go on too long to be just satirical.
While it was a no for me, others were impressed with that bit.
“I'm very sappy, so I liked the ending with the song," Rivera said. "I thought I was gonna cry.”
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While most people were excited by the representation, others were hoping for more.
“The people on the board of the LGBTQ+ Museum, there's no Asian people," Kojima said. "The most notable Asian role I remember was the guy who was there for a hot second. I thought that was a little … disappointing.”
The best part of this movie was the normalization and commentary on queer relationships showing their meaningfulness and their ability to be even more deeply rooted in emotional awareness. This film was able to find a space for queer people in even the straightest genre of movie.
“I feel like there's a lot of ideas about love in general and then specifically more of queer love," said psychology sophomore Hannah Deboer.
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