Billy Eichner's gay rom-com Bros eyes awards season with TIFF world premiere
Billy Eichner's Bros has staked prime awards-season real estate as part of the Toronto International Film Festival's 2022 lineup.
The festival announced Friday that it will hold the world-premiere screening of the LGBTQ rom-com, which features a predominantly queer cast in a story about a man (Eichner) who falls for an unlikely partner (Killjoys' Luke Macfarlane) amid a chaotic social scene in New York City.
Universal's Bros broke new ground for big-budget productions, becoming the first gay-themed rom-com to be funded for theatrical release by a major studio. The film follows in the footsteps of other streaming and/or independent queer romantic comedies that laid a foundation for it to succeed, such as Hulu's 2020 release Happiest Season (starring Kristen Stewart), Alice Wu's 2004 classic Saving Face, and the beloved 2001 film Kissing Jessica Stein.
The premiere slot marks an ambitious move for the film, as TIFF often mixes potential awards-season contenders in with a massive slate that also typically includes big commercial projects, smaller prestige titles, and international fare.
Bros' cast includes mostly LGBTQ actors, including Ts Madison, Miss Lawrence, Amanda Bearse, Guy Branum, Guillermo Díaz, Dot-Marie Jones, Eve Lindley, Bowen Yang, Jim Rash, Monica Raymund, Harvey Fierstein, and RuPaul's Drag Race season 13 winner Symone.
Eichner previously told EW that he got emotional filming the movie in the middle of Manhattan.
"You have scenes where Luke and I are walking around on the Upper West Side, on what really felt like a scene out of a Nora Ephron rom-com that I grew up loving, but were never about gay couples," Eichner said. "We weren't even on the sidelines in most of those movies — there wasn't even a gay best friend at that point."
Directed by Nick Stoller and produced by Judd Apatow, Bros premieres during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 8-18. The film opens in theaters Sept. 30.
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Billy Eichner leads a predominantly LGBTQ cast in Universal's groundbreaking gay rom-com about two men finding love in unexpected places.