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Aug 3, 2008

Fletch's Film Review: Step Brothers

I'd like to pay someone, somewhere to conduct an experiment for me. I want to take the audience that I saw Step Brothers with, each and every one of them, and plop them into a theater to watch, say, the Arrested Development movie with me (if and when it comes out). The point of this experiment would be to see if they and I really have that much of a different sense of humor, or if they are just the type of people that laugh at everything.

I'm dying to see the results. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not easily made to laugh at a sitcoms or comedic films. I can find things terribly funny and still not laugh a whole lot; a chuckle here and there, sure, but not the laugh out loud guffaws that I hear so often when I head to the theater. I'm not quite sure why this is: am I just too picky or are they just too easily amused? The ratio of them to me would surely suggest the former.

Keep in mind that it's not just this film that could fit into this mold. Surely while watching Hot Fuzz or Knocked Up I found this phenomenon to be true as well, and I'd place both of those comedies well above Step Brothers. What I'm really interested in seeing is that, if we could all watch something that indeed does make me crack up (a lot), would they have the same reaction, or would they sit there wondering what the hell I was laughing at most of the time?

In a general sense, Step Brothers is probably not as bad or as good as you've heard. I found it to be pretty weak overall, with a handful of inspired moments (the Adam Scott character, the brilliantly out-there operatic finale that had me nearly in tears, the real estate shenanigans) surrounded by literally hundreds of failed/overdone jokes. Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and director Adam McKay can indeed pull a few good laughs out of otherwise unfunny screaming and/or cursing, but just as with Saturday Night Live, they never know when to stop. You can almost feel the movie being made by focus groups: "They liked that bit where Will and John screamed and hit each other - let's do that 56 more times, so they love it that much more!"

Wrong. The novelty of seeing super straight-man Richard Jenkins drop a few f-bombs is lost almost as quickly as it hits you. The glee of seeing Ferrell and Reilly walk around in a sleepwalking stupor throwing random objects is taken from you before you even have the chance to say "Wake up, motherf*ckers!" And as nice as it was to see Mary Steenburgen given the opportunity to lighten up, the only thing I wanted to tell her was to ease up on the tanning bed/lotion/whatever.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"Whatever."


16 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Step Brothers"

Ms☆Go said...

No, this movie is the white dog-poop Will was forced to lick.

There are the "I can't wait to laugh, because I KNOW this is gonna be funny" Pre-emptive laughing people...

And the "I just have shit taste" laughing people.

You happened to be a theater with both of them.

That's it. And that's all.

This movie sucked.

Fletch said...

Oh, but tell me how you really feel. :) I love your bluntness...

Dead Pan said...

It is disappointing to hear, but I must ask. Are you a Ferrell fan at all? I am mostly asking if you enjoyed Anchorman especially.

Evan Derrick said...

My audience was the same way. They loved this film like it was the second coming of gross-out comedy. I got so tired of the incessant screaming and cussing. Ugh. Felt like my soul was being toilet snaked.

I guess there is something about Will Ferrell's scrotum that is just wildly funny. I don't get it.

Fletch said...

@ Dead Pan - yea, I'm a Ferrell fan. Unlike most, Anchorman's not my favorite, though it definitely has its moments. I'll take Ricky Bobby as his best starring role (Stranger Than Fiction notwithstanding, as it's in a slightly different genre), though I find he's best in a short format. Blades of Glory was better than expected (granted, expectations were low) and I've yet to see Semi Pro.

@ Evan - good to hear I'm not the only one. They were eating up everything.

Daniel G. said...

I agree on all points, including the sleepwalking (which I know didn't bother Evan).

It's weird, I lumped Pineapple Express in with this, and the audiences I saw them with were both dying. Neither did much for me, but I expect people will for some reason LOVE Pineapple a lot more. We'll find out soon.

elgringo said...

The best part about sub-par films is that I get to log on here and see another picture of Alicia Silverstone. Childhood crushes are forgotten all too often.

Piper said...

People want to laugh. They just want to laugh. I get angry when someone puts a lame joke out there. I get even more angry when people laugh out loud at it.

I wanted to take the audience from Be Kind/Rewind and throw them in a large fire because they were laughing at stuff that was idiotic.

Me, I can be vicious, but I can also be somewhat forgiving. If I can laugh out loud once or twice during a movie, I figure my time was well spent. I doubt I would have laughed those two times if I hadn't seen the movie. Take Scary Movie 2 for instance. Not a good movie. But James Wood on the can with flies on his face made me laugh hard. I mean, hard. The rest of the movie was a waste, but I got to see James Woods on the can trying to take a shit. That was worth it.

I'm kind of tired of Will Ferrel and this is from a guy that loves him. Will is trying to strike while the iron is hot but he's smoldering the iron.

Fletch said...

@ Daniel - I too expect to enjoy Pineapple much more. We'll see if my self-fulfilling prophecy rings true...

@ Elgringo - gracias. I'll see if I can't see more crappy movies to give you more Alicia. ;)

@ Piper - I like what you say about being forgiving. In the end, I will forgive Step Brothers somewhat because I was laughing nonstop for about a two-minute stretch towards the end. It allllmost made up for much of the unfunniness earlier, but not quite.

Ferrell could get away with doing these types of roles/films forever, if only he mixed in more of the more mature material every now and then. I'm not asking for friggin' Patch Adams or even Dead Poets, but something that doesn't require peepee/poopoo humor every now and then couldn't hurt. The man is capable of so much more, as his myriad SNL impressions showed (Trebek, Caray, and Neil Diamond come to mind).

Piper said...

Hold up. Wait just one second. Did you just suggest that Patch Adams was more mature material?

There's my hard laugh for the day.

Thanks Fletch.

Fletch said...

I didn't say better (at all). I said more mature. From what little I watched of that dungheap, I don't recall seeing Williams nutsack or asscrack. And thank god for that - the sight of all that hair in all those places...yeah, enjoy that mental image.

Piper said...

Wait. Hold up. I didn't say you said better. (this is sounding like we're teenage kids). I quoted you right. It's just hard to think of Patch Adams as more mature material. I know that's what they were going for, but that's not what ended up.

Anyways, I'm just bustin' your beez.

Dead Pan said...

I wouldn't give semi-pro a chance. I am a fan of most of Ferrells work and I found Semi-Pro worse than Night At The Roxbury, which is saying alot.

Farzan said...

This was a pretty good movie. I gave it a C in my review. I did think the plot was pretty thin and the jokes started to get mellow, but I thought it was still a funny movie. Awesome blog by the way, keep up the great work

Mrs Fletch said...

You forgot to mention the SHAMELESS and blatant plugs for a certain restaurant.. "I'm going to get a drink - at the cheesecake factory."

www.sarahfobes.com said...

I am in agreement, although I must admit to chuckling during the sleepwalking scenes.

Incidentally, 70% of the Step Brothers audience won't be at the Arrested Development movie. I hope.