The Brothers Solomon

Movie Information

The Story: Two socially inept brothers attempt to become fathers in order to try and pull their father out of a coma. The Lowdown: A dire attempt at being quirky and irreverent, The Brothers Solomon ends up being a pointless, unfunny practice in comedy.
Genre: Comedy
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Starring: Will Arnett, Will Forte, Malin Akerman, Kristen Wiig, Chi McBride
Rated: R

A few hours before catching The Brothers Solomon, I was discussing with a friend how depressing Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark (2000) is, when I jokingly said that the only thing more depressing might be having to watch The Brothers Solomon. Unfortunately, I was right.

It’s not that the movie is gloomy or morose, but rather it’s the idea that those involved in making it believed that, in this day and age, this movie was a worthy use of effort, time and money. The Brothers Solomon is such a forgettable, insignificant, pointless comedy that the only reason I can think of for the movie’s existence is the fact that something has to occupy the dump bin at Wal-Mart. Put it this way: As brother acts go, these boys fall way short of the Karamazov, Marx, Smothers or even Dr. Joyce Brothers.

Speaking of brothers, the movie feels like some long lost Farelly Brothers project, and if it is, you can’t blame them for misplacing it. Will Arnett (Blades of Glory) and Saturday Night Live‘s Will Forte play John and Dean Solomon, respectively—two socially incompetent brothers who are completely hopeless when it comes to the opposite sex. It’s not until their father (Lee Majors, who one-ups both Ben Kingsley in Bloodrayne (2005) and Peter O’Toole in Stardust (2007) by getting to play the movie not merely sitting or lying down, but in a coma) falls comatose that the Brothers Solomon decide that the only way to save him is to give him his one wish: to be a grandfather. And so the duo sets out to become fathers.

The movie tries to be of the “lovable loser” variety, the only problem being that these two imbecilic brothers aren’t even what you’d call tolerable, let alone lovable. John, in particular, is a self-centered sleazeball. No matter how many times the script says the brothers are well-meaning or really not all that bad once you get to meet them, they’re really worse than bad. If you can imagine two of the most obnoxious, annoying people in your life who you want absolutely nothing to do with, and then multiply that by 10, then you might start to understand who these guys are.

In the film’s defense, it tries its damnedest to be quirky. But it never really goes anywhere. Sure, it’s a slight departure from the usual flatulence jokes or shots to the groin, but it’s really not all that far removed. The Brothers Solomon is still from the school of “look at me, I’m funny” comedy, with a good dose of forced goofy irreverence. But the worst aspect of the film’s failed attempts at comedy is how formulaic many of the jokes become, with John being absurd and uncouth and Dean being overly placating and cheerful.

However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get at least a couple of chortles out of this movie. The only problem is that now I can’t think of one joke that made me laugh. And this is probably The Brothers Solomon‘s biggest problem: It’s completely and utterly forgettable. Even going for an R rating in what one would assume is an attempt at being a more adult-oriented comedy fails, since the movie never even tries to be offensive or shocking. Instead, it’s completely innocuous.

If you insist on seeing this movie, make sure you do it quick. It’s only playing on one screen in town, which is probably one screen too many. Rated R for language and sexual content.


8 thoughts on “The Brothers Solomon

  1. Dionysis

    Great. Yet another in the seemingly endless stream of lame-brained ‘comedies’ being churned out ad naseum.
    I imagine that having a job which requires one to watch and review movies would be great, but the downside would have to be having to endure tripe like this. My condolences.

  2. Ken Hanke

    After seeing this movie, Justin Souther suggested that perhaps he needed a week or two away from bad comedies, so you’ll find me saddled with this week’s offering, MR. WOODCOCK. Of course, Justin’s getting DRAGON WARS, so I’m not sure which of us is worse off.

  3. Orbit DVD

    DRAGON WARS is the biggest movie ever in Korea. I don’t know what that means, but just thought I’d throw it out there.


  4. Justin Souther

    Judging from the trailer, I’m pretty sure it just means that the fine people of Korea simply like to watch giant lizards blow things up.

    I’m not sure if you can blame them either. Personally, I’d rather watch giant lizards blow things up than see MR. WOODCOCK. At least the former might be funny, even if it’s laughs of the unintentional variety.

  5. Ken Hanke

    Wasn’t THE HOST the biggest movie ever in Korea a few months ago? And did you ever meet anyone who saw it who thought it was more than “just okay” in spite of all the hype and a bunch of critics going lollipops over it? I know I haven’t, though I’ve met a few who thought it was a lot less than okay.

  6. Orbit DVD

    Personally, I loved THE HOST. The monster showed itself within the first 10 minutes, and like JAWS, the movie settled down into and engaging (and funny) story. DRAGON WARS I think made 40 million the first week of the box office in Korea… meaning the whole country closed down to see it!

    Monsters aside, the Koreans are making the best films in Asia right now. All of the good ones still have the craziness that you expect but with 3 dimensional characters, plots and excellent direction. The “Vengeance” trilogy is a good place to start (SYMPATHY FOR MR VENGEANCE, OLD BOY and LADY VENGEANCE).


  7. Ken Hanke

    The minute I clicked “submit,” I knew someone who loved THE HOST would appear. Don’t get me wrong. I thought it was okay — and woulda been a lot more okay with about 20 minutes taken out of it.

    Since I don’t follow Asian cinema — generally, unless it plays here, I don’t see it — I can’t really weigh in on where the Koreans stand in any assessment. I’m trying to think what Asian films have made it to Asheville in the past year and it’s not more than a handful. And while I would love to keep abreast of sll cinema, there are only so many hours in a day.

  8. Justin Souther

    I’m probably in the same boat as Ken as far as THE HOST is concerned. Actually, I may have been even more underwhelmed. I know I had heard all the hype surrounding that movie months before it hit town, and to say I was disappointed once I actually got to see it would be an understatement.

    I can’t think of many Korean films that I’ve seen, either, but I have seen OLD BOY. I’m pretty sure I’ll never figure out why some people make such a big deal about that movie.

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