If you’re an Applebee’s employee in Des Moines who wants to see Billy Eichner’s romantic comedy Bros, Guy Branum just made it a lot easier by serving it up on a platter — free of charge.
The comedian, who plays the witty best friend of Eichner’s character in the Nicholas Stoller-directed film, has bought out a showing specifically for staff at five Applebee’s restaurants in the greater Des Moines area. Locations in and around Iowa’s capital city include Merle Hay, SE 14th Street, Altoona, Jordan Creek and Ankeny locations with the screening set for Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. at AMC Classic Johnston 16 in Johnston, Iowa.
“We are very grateful,” noted Iowa Applebee’s general manager David Hintz of the news as insiders estimate approximately 10-15 employees from each location will turn up at the screening, presumably scheduled at a time when many employees can sneak away in that slower period between lunch and dinner shifts.
In a statement, Branum explained the generosity by saying that restaurant staffs “are frequently where queer people and allies find each other and themselves.” The film, a historic entry in that it features a cast comprised of LGBTQ+ talent, opens this weekend and has received stellar reviews.
“In the past, actors from Matt Bomer to Octavia Spencer to Cristela Alonzo have bought out theaters to make sure underrepresented communities got to see themselves onscreen. With a movie of such historic LGBTQ+ representation as Bros, I thought it was pivotal that midwestern chain restaurant kitchen and wait staff got a chance to see it,” added Branum, who is a co-producer of the Universal Pictures film which also stars Luke Macfarlane, TS Madison, Dot-Marie Jones, Jim Rash, Guillermo Diaz, Jai Rodriguez, Eve Lindley and Miss Lawrence, among others. “Chain restaurant wait staffs are the bedrock of the midwestern LGBTQ+ community.”
Branum wasn’t done there. As an appetizer of sorts, he also paid for the Carleton College Gender and Sexuality Center to send LGBTQ+ students at the Northfield, Minnesota university to a free showing tomorrow at Cannon Valley Cinemas in Dunbas. Every attendee gets a soda and a popcorn.
But that wasn’t his first choice.
“When I came out of the closet while a student in Minnesota, the University of Minnesota’s Queer Student Cultural Center’s coming out group was invaluable to my development and growth as a gay man,” Branum said. “Unfortunately, the representatives of the QSCC never responded to my assistant, so I’m sending the kids from Carleton. While I was a student at the University of Minnesota Law School, Carleton College students provided me with valuable friendship and mid-level sexual contact.”