Universal’s Bros spent $30,000 on a fake butt prop, and it wound up getting cut from the film. The LGBTQ+ romantic comedy is a landmark movie, not only for being the first film of its kind to be backed by a major studio, but also for its entirely LGBTQ+ principal cast, who play even the heterosexual characters. Bros stars Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Guy Branum, Miss Lawrence, TS Madison, Monica Raymund, Jim Rash, and Guillermo Diaz, and was written by Eichner and director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets).
The film follows Eichner, known for Difficult People, Parks & Rec, and his Billy on the Street interviews, who plays Bobby, an out and proud, neurotic podcast host who wears his status as a single man as a badge of honor. He meets Macfarlane’s Aaron, a laid back, straight-passing jock, who’s a little less comfortable being out as a gay man. Both claim to be content with casual hook-ups, but once the two commitment-phobic men meet and have unlikely chemistry, a relationship forms that challenges them both to grow. Without necessarily breaking the mold of rom-com conventions, reviews have praised Bros for what it represents. Also celebrated has been its humor, and since Bros comes from the minds of Eichner, Stoller, and producer Judd Apatow, it’s a given the R-rated film has its fair share of raunchiness.
The film includes a few very bawdy sex scenes, with one that was almost made even more ridiculous with the inclusion of a $30,000 fake butt prop that eventually got cut. In an interview with EW, the cast relates that a “butt rig” was made with two puppeteers manipulating it from the other side of the bed while Macfarlane put his mouth on it. Eichner jjokes that the prop was modeled after producer Apatow’s own rear.
Why Bros Leans on Humor for its Sex Scenes
Using humor for the sex scenes in Bros was a very important, and purposeful decision on Eichner and Stoller’s part. Cutting the butt prop and straying from sex scenes that were both gratuitous and overtly realistic likely helped the film stay away from an NC-17 rating like Netflix’s Blonde. Focusing on humor as well as earnestness also helps the film’s depiction of sex to be embraced by more conservative theatergoers who are perhaps not used to seeing gay sex.
While losing the butt prop may be sad news for viewers who’d love to see something so over the top, and something not often depicted onscreen, for other viewers the scene may have been a bridge too far, and its loss for the best. Regardless, the sex scenes that were still kept in the movie provide plenty of laughs, and their share of sweet moments too. It remains to be seen whether Bros will perform well enough to earn a sequel, but for now the boundary-pushing film is a good start.