Men have a saying when it comes to brotherhood and supporting each other, the phrase is Bros Before Hos and if you’ve never heard of it before you’re likely over the age of 70. It means exactly what it sounds like, guys, usually your brother or closest friend, come before your lady and whatever crazy demands she might request from you. This phrase also happens to be the title of the Dutch romantic comedy directed by Steffen Haars and Flip Van der Kuil.
After witnessing their parents’ disaster of a divorce, brothers Max (Tim Haars) and Jules (Daniël Arends) make a pact to never have a girlfriend because it always ends poorly. Fast forward to their adult lives and Max is working at a failing video rental store while Jules is an assistant branch manager at a supermarket where he hits and taps all of his female employees. The two live a rock star lifestyle, partying every night utilizing the same lines over and over on women travelling in pairs while hammering down Long Island Iced Teas. Jules usually gets to bang the hotter one and Max gets the freaky, usually less attractive ones. One day, Max meets Anna (Sylvia Hoeks) but he soon finds out that Jules has already been working her. Soon, Anna keeps returning to their apartment and it becomes clear Jules is on the verge of breaking their pact. At the same time, especially after having a heart-to-heart, Max becomes drawn to Anna as well, putting Max in a difficult situation and threatening the strong bond of brotherhood that Jules and he had for so long.
Bros Before Hos is an exceptionally raunchy romantic comedy that’s generally entertaining. It is over-the-top and full of so many bromantic moments that are stolen from the ways stereotypical American guys act and talk, it’s because of this I found it difficult not to smile throughout the film. The fact that it’s used in a Dutch film makes it really fun to watch, especially any time we see the brothers’ tall scrawny friend René (Henry Van Loon) on screen, he’s all about the thug life when he’s with the guys but a completely whipped man when he’s with his lady.
The first third of the film focuses on the brothers and their animalistic partying style. It is clear Jules gets the better looking ladies but he’s a player and an asshole. Max, who doesn’t necessarily mind getting the leftovers, is a bit more emotional and friendlier. Anna soon enters the picture and we are introduced to her through a mentally unstable man who loves porn and resides in a psychiatric hospital. It’s a hilarious intro and the people she cares for at the hospital become quite an entertaining part of the story. This act continues with Jules and Anna developing their relationship and Max starting to get frustrated. The last act is obviously where shit hits the fan, things fall apart but it reaches a climax that involves an awesome recreation of First Blood.
While entertaining, the movie feels like it’s trying to force a lot of humor into its 87 minute runtime. On occasion it seems they are trying to force shock laughs with the raunchy and outlandish but it doesn’t pan out well all the time and feels rather trite. Also, the minute Anna is introduced you know exactly the way the story is going to wrap up, I always hope that male oriented romantic comedies will take a different approach to the overall arc but this follows the same formula we’ve seen time and time again.
Overall, Bros Before Hos is the raunchier Dutch equivalent of the American film, That Awkward Moment. It follows a similar story arc, includes bad behavior, and generates some solid laughs. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but its use of American bromantic culture in a country that’s far from the states is clever and helps generate some ridiculous laughs that otherwise would seem stale if it were an American movie. If you like raunchy films, stoner comedies or anything generally vulgar with a dash of sweetness then it wouldn’t hurt to watch Bros Before Hos, at the very least you can say you saw a movie with that title.
Rating: A generally entertaining film that feels similar to That Awkward Moment, only much raunchier and without most of the awkwardness (6.2/10)