Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Step Brothers (2008)

I have been pretty sick for the past few days and I have a hard time with high brow films while I am near death's door (slight exaggeration there) so I almost always reach for the stupidest thing I can find. Luckily, Netflix had just sent me "Step Brothers" and well, that certainly fits the requirement.

Mary Steenburgen, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Richard Jenkins as a picture-perfect dysfunctional family

Dr. Robert Doback (Richard Jenkins) and Nancy Huff (Mary Steenburgen) meet, fall in love, marry and move in together in the first 10 minutes or so of this film. Their happily ever after is tested by their middle-aged sons who both still live at home with no desire to move out or on. Even worse, Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) hate each other instantly and turn the newlyweds home into a war zone.

I find it funny that after dissing "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" I am so quickly back into Judd Apatow land. I can't seem to escape him. Of course, this isn't a romantic comedy, it is definitely a dude's comedy so that is totally cool beans with me. I won't do a full in-depth review of this as ... I am not really sure it is possible to do that credibly. This film is exactly what you expect from a Ferrell movie - constant low-brow humor with shining moments of comedic genius scattered here and there into the fabric of the film. I usually don't love these kinds of films, but I chuckle now and then and forget that I am sick and miserable, at least for an hour and a half, which I consider to be a very good thing.

I would say my biggest surprise of the film was Richard Jenkins. I have seen his face everywhere, it seems, in the past couple of years as a character actor. The thing that amazes me is his range - he excels in drama (example "The Visitor" or "North Country") and also excels in comedy (example "Step Brothers" or "Burn After Reading"). I am going to keep a watch out for future films of his as he seems to be full of surprising, brilliant performances.

I guess the bottom line on this is if you are into dude comedies or Apatow creations or Ferrell's films - this is a great one for those fans and you MUST see this. If you don't really dig low-brow, somewhat stupid comedy, give it a pass and pull out a foreign film. :-)

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