Genre: Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.
Release Date: September 7th, 2007 MPAA Rating: R
Director: Bob Odenkirk Actors: Will Arnett, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Chi McBride, Malin Akerman, Lee Majors, Bob Odenkirk, Sam Lloyd, Jenna Fischer
he unequivocal epitome of absurdity on celluloid, “The Brothers Solomon” is equal parts hilarity and eyebrow-raising ridiculousness. With a mindbogglingly offbeat sense of humor, this film introduces such sustained, socially-inept insanity through its unpredictably bizarre lead characters that it becomes consistently difficult to predict where it’s all going. Despite the berserk brothers’ insensibilities, this madcap farce manages to be both entertaining and different from the recent slew of R-rated comedies.
When their father lapses into a coma, Dean (Will Forte) and John (Will Arnett) Solomon learn that his only regret was not seeing a grandchild. This immediately motivates the two bungling brothers to acquire a child at any cost. After the romantically – and socially – inept twosome fails to woo a mate to bear their child (the normal way), they turn to other, more unorthodox means of conception…
Initially, “The Brothers Solomon” appears to be an even wackier and more ludicrous take on the morons from “Dumb & Dumber,” boasting a goofy duo of misfits who lack all cognitive thought processes. Early on, the film even daringly steals a joke directly from that aforementioned Farrelly Brothers’ comedy – which is a huge mistake, considering how widely recognized Harry and Lloyd’s dialogue has become. But after this initial letdown, “The Brother Solomon” redeems itself with a nonstop barrage of hilariously awkward slapstick and unpredictable kookiness.
Like Steve and Doug Butabi from “A Night at the Roxbury,” the Solomons never let their spirits down, as if they’re completely oblivious to their unwieldy social shortcomings (or as if they exist in an isolated world of irrational realism). Their chipper attitude remains constant, even when they disagree, casting a bizarre sense of satisfaction straight through to the idiotic conclusion. To say that the events in the film are even remotely believable or sensible would be a gross exaggeration, yet one has to appreciate the inane degree of preposterousness the film achieves with its extremely over-the-top form. It’s unapologetically stupid, which is what works so well.
From picking out a pornographic magazine at a sperm bank (they struggle over a copy of “Indigenous Weekly”) to a candlelit hallway dinner to “kickass” parenting training (involving hiding and mistreating baby dolls) to stalking children at a playground, the cockeyed gimmicks and slapstick are surprisingly – and guiltily – entertaining. The entire film tests the limits to which imbecilic humor can be pushed – and once that line is crossed, they continue forward into unknown territories of illogicality. Puppetry-based sex training and friendship-simulation aside, “The Brothers Solomon” is utterly pointless and largely trivial, yet somehow the brand new lows of intelligence make for an unusually high amount of laughs.
Reaching unforeseen heights in comedic eccentricity, “The Brothers Solomon” appears uninhibited by its stereotypical (or acceptable) brethren. The humor on display is a seldom-seen blend of disturbing mockery and playful simple-mindedness that is, ultimately, hit or miss. But when it succeeds, it does so with masterful relish, creating simultaneous shock and laugh-out-loud silliness. Airplane banners, pedophilia, and infant abuse never looked so funny.
– The Massie Twins