In recent cinema history, there have generally been two truly “good” types of comedy movies. The first type is filled with subtle, dry, but well-structured humor. This archetype is usually more plot and character-driven, causing the audience to think a little more in order to digest the humor. The second type of comedy film, the “gut-buster,” relies heavily on throwing joke after joke at the audience, hoping that for every three jokes, at least one will get a huge laugh.In recent years, with the success of Judd Apatow films such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up,” the comedy genre has taken a new direction; gut-busting one liners combined with a contemporary issue and a lesson learned at the end. Both of Apatow’s movies did this seamlessly, so it is no surprise that another movie would try and emulate the same success through this innovation. Thus, “The Brothers Solomon” came to be.
The film follows the adventures of two bumbling brothers, John and Dean Solomon (Saturday Night Live’s Will Arnet and Will Forte, respectively), grown men who spend most of their time trying unsuccessfully to meet and woo women they find on the Internet. After much rejection, and one too many trips to the video store, they come to find out that their father (Lee Majors) has fallen into a coma. According to the doctor, his one last wish was to see his first grandchild.
Convinced that by having a baby their father will awaken, the two brothers make it their mission to find a woman that will bare the first Solomon grandchild. After many failed first dates, they find a woman named Janine (Kristen Wiig) who will agree to have the baby for a sum of ten thousand dollars. In the meantime, they’ll have to deal with a jealous ex-boyfriend (Chi McBride), as well as all the challenges that come with having to prepare for fatherhood.
While the plot might seem original, this movie is pretty much a cross between “Knocked Up,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “A Night at the Roxbury.” Considering that Forte and Arnet are cast members on SNL, this should come as no surprise; they’re acting exactly like Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell did nearly ten years ago. Forte is quite amusing and almost lovable in his role, delivering every line with a soft-spoken, child-like naivety. He gets the best one-liners, and has an almost Jeff Daniels quality to him that is reminiscent of “Dumb and Dumber.” Arnet is not as funny, playing the stereotypical man-child with a big libido that Will Ferrell has become famous for over the last three years, but with less success.
Additionally, their chemistry together just isn’t up to par with most “male buddy” movies; it is harder to really accept. Plus, how many more gay jokes do we need about heterosexual men that are emotional about each other?
While some scenes seem like an extended sketch on SNL, there are also a handful of laugh-out-loud moments. Some of the dialogue is really funny simply for its bizarreness factor. Arnet’s delivery seems a little forced, but Forte is really believable as a completely idiotic man-child. Chi McBride (of “Boston Public” fame) also adds a good foil to the main duo, evolving from an obsessive boyfriend to a likable, honorary member of this “family.”
Sadly, the two main women in this film are highly underused, falling into the clich roles of eye-rollers, annoyed with everything and anything the two lead characters say.
“The Brothers Solomon” is a fun movie, and is a good time if you really have nothing else to do. Still, with all the amazing comedy movies that came out this summer, it offers nothing groundbreaking. It’s worth a rental at best.
Chris Pierdomenico is a West Chester University student. He can be reached at CP591716@wcupa.edu.