|The Brothers Solomon (2007)
Starring: Will Arnett,
Will Forte, Chi McBride, Kristen Wiig, Malin Akerman
Director: Bob Odenkirk
The fact that movies like “The Brothers Solomon” are still being made is kind of depressing, but what’s even more depressing is that there are people out there who are not only willing to pay to see them, but actually enjoy them as well. I’ve always said that writer/director Bob Odenkirk needs to seriously rethink his idea of what’s funny, and if this is his attempt at ignoring my suggestion, well, then, mission accomplished. Not only is his latest directing gig actually worse than “Let’s Go to Prison” (which also co-starred Will Arnett), but it confirms my suspicions that – with the exception of Andy Samberg – the current generation of “Saturday Night Live” players is the least talented group of comedians in the history of the show. Written by “SNL” cast member Will Forte in a blatant attempt at capitalizing on the success of the recent string of sex comedies, “The Brothers Solomon” is neither funny nor heartwarming – it’s just plain stupid.
The two Wills star as Dean and John Solomon, a pair of socially inept brothers who aren’t exactly schooled in the art of picking up women. Whether they’re buying a stranger’s groceries as a way of breaking the ice, kissing their dates’ fathers on the lips, or proposing marriage on the first date, even the worst rejections never seem to break their spirit. It’s all thanks to their father (Lee Majors), who raised the boys with a never-say-die attitude, so when the time comes to repay him by granting his final wish – to see his firstborn grandchild – the brothers set off to make a baby.
Based around the idea that watching two complete idiots who smile all the time is hilarious, “The Brothers Solomon” couldn’t be any further off the mark. It’s not that the movie isn’t funny enough, or that some of the humor is too silly – it’s that there isn’t a single comedic moment in the film, period. Okay, so maybe that was a little harsh. The film does have a few gags that warrant a giggle or two, but by the time they finally arrive, you’ve probably already convinced yourself that no matter what happens, you refuse to give in to such moronic behavior by cracking a smile. Even fellow movie critic Kristin Dreyer Kramer showed signs of breaking midway through the brisk 91-minute runtime, but she held strong and kept that frown upside-down.
Usually a deciding factor in whether or not a comedy works, the performances in the film are absolutely horrendous. Arnett, who’s been making a cash grab as of late after the cancellation of “Arrested Development,” still hasn’t proven that he’s as talented as we were all led to believe, while his co-star is simply worthless. How Forte ever managed to get such a juvenile script greenlit is beyond me, especially with Lorne Michaels’ name absent from the producers’ credits, but he simply doesn’t deserve such a high level of trust when there’s nothing of merit to back it up. Furthermore, fellow “SNL” star Kristen Wiig – who proved her comic bite with a small role in this year’s “Knocked Up” – is criminally underused as the surrogate mother, Malin Ackerman is given little more to do than look pretty and be a bitch, and Chi McBride’s supporting role as Wiig’s ex-boyfriend doesn’t even begin to justify the film’s R-rating.
Sure, when things aren’t looking good, a few choice swear words can usually turn it around, but when it’s the difference between selling more tickets and flat out bombing at the box office, shooting for a PG-13 seems the smarter business decision. Then again, maybe not. The rest of the crowd – made up mostly of male college students – was laughing like a bunch of doped-up hyenas, and while it pains me to say this, “The Brothers Solomon” may actually benefit from the higher rating. Just about every major comedy released under an R-rating in the past few years (including “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Knocked Up” and “Superbad”) have gone on to become instant hits, and though “The Brothers Solomon” doesn’t even come close to the quality of any of those films, it’ll have no problem convincing the general public otherwise. It’s too bad. That’s money that would be better spent elsewhere.