Men Don’t Care About Romantic Comedies
2022 was an interesting year for romantic comedies. Mostly due to the fact that this genre isn’t exactly cranking out hits in theaters these days. The Lost City with Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock was a nice surprise. Ticket to Paradise did okay. However, the genre itself hasn’t been much of a money-maker in years. Men just aren’t that into romantic comedies. The genre doesn’t particularly cater to guys, nor do filmmakers seem to care much about showcasing a male’s point-of-view in regards to love.
Now, there’s certainly been romantic comedies that showcase the perspective of a man. The Wedding Crashers, 40-Year-Old Virgin, American Pie, Knocked Up, are some examples of popular comedies that focus on love from the male perspective. Those films are highly regarded and did pretty well at the box office, though none of them came close to seeing Marvel-type numbers. This means that women typically drive the genre. However, Bros isn’t catered to women: neither straight nor gay. That immediately puts Bros in the niche category. Only 3.9% of men identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Women Can’t Relate To Gay Relationships
Now, I’m not an expert on the queer community, but it’s clear that they’re a very small portion of the world. Hollywood has made queer representation more prominent in the last couple of years, which is a great thing for queer actors. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the stats on men and romantic comedies have changed. That includes gay men. I don’t have the official stats on gay men and romantic comedies in particular. Though gay men would have more interest in the genre, it’s highly doubtful that many came out in droves to support most romantic films in the past.
Gay men don’t identify with straight relationships. And Straight men and women don’t identify with gay relationships. This film has multiple orgies. Exactly how is that enticing for any straight man to see? I know Billy Eichner wants to believe that the world is full of raging homophobes, but that’s pure delusion, to be honest. Brokeback Mountain, Rocket Man, Philadelphia, and Bohemian Rhapsody featured a gay lead and made over $100 million at the box office. In fact, Bohemian Rhapsody made over $900 million! None of these are romantic comedies, but the point is that these were prominent gay characters, and audiences had no problem shelling out money for tickets.
Bros Was Destined To Fail
Bros was in a floundering genre that targeted a niche audience. Couple that with the fact that Bros seemed more like a political agenda than a film meant to simply entertain. The romantic comedy was destined to fail. One joke instantly kills any chance that straight audiences would go see the film, and that’s the implied erasure of straight people.
But it wasn’t just the straight audience who didn’t show up, as most gays didn’t either. Why? Because Bros seemed less like a traditional romantic comedy and more of a play on hook-up culture. Given the movies listed above, sex in a male rom-com is nothing new, but those films had more value than just sex. Yes, even American Pie wasn’t just about horny teenagers looking to bust a quick nut.
However, Bros advertisement featured a generic story that audiences had seen dozens of times before, and the red band trailer highlighted the sex aspect a lot more. The film felt as if it was saying that gay relationships were mainly about the sex, and the actual film validated that notion. That was a turnoff to some of the gay audience. Many felt that queer love was being misrepresented and opted to skip out on Bros entirely. Eichner only dug himself further into a hole by calling everyone homophobic. He came across as an entitled brat who didn’t get what he wanted. Bros is not the worst film of the year, but the combination of everything listed favored the romantic comedy that had little chance at being a huge box office success.
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