It’s hard not to not like the Brothers Solomon, the actual characters, not the movie…not.
John and Dean Solomon, played by Will Arnett and Will Forte, are pretty much kids with adult clothing sizes. They have an insane amount of energy, seemingly endless optimism and a smile that stretches the full radius of their heads.
They might seem annoying, ignorant and borderline cultish. But deep down, you wish you were like them. Everyone wishes they could live in a world of blissful ignorance where only good things can happen and you can gain all the confidence you’ll need for the day from a brother who’s willing to give you a “Today’s Gonna Be a Good Day on Three.” You know you do.
The Brothers Solomon has an interesting take on the dumb duo comedy. These are a pair of brothers with an obvious lack of intelligence but an overflowing stockpile of happiness, beaming optimism and the will to keep going after their goals no matter how astronomical the odds, no matter how unlikely they’ll achieve it or no matter how many times they publicly humiliate themselves or the people around them.
In this case, it’s to make a baby. Their father, played by Lee Majors, spends 95 percent of the movie lying in a bed after he slips into a coma. His super loyal boys learn his last wish is to become a grandfather so the boys embark on a journey to impregnate a woman with their seed, no matters the cost.
At first, they try to make a baby the old fashioned way by courting anyone and everyone who will go on a date with them. John keeps pinning for the hottie across the hall played by Malin Akerman, even going so far to invite her to a picnic style dinner in their apartment hallway, a clever little awkward moment when Akerman’s boyfriend shows up at the door at the same time as John.
Eventually, the brothers realize they have a better chance of fertilizing an alien’s eggs than a woman’s on Earth, so they offer a surrogate mother played by Kristen Wiig a big fat check to carry their baby for them. Unfortunately, her loud, salty, black boyfriend played by Chi McBride hates the idea and is constantly in the brothers’ never ending smiling faces.
Part of the fun of the comedy comes from the brothers’ pure ignorance. They’ll happily talk about impregnating Kristen right in front of Chi’s big face, and Chi slowly grows angrier and angrier. He never flat out blows up at the boys, but steams at them, which makes for a much calmer and cleverer comedy.
They also have a hundred chances to go for gags that rely on gross out scenarios that only make audiences gag. Instead, the script, written by Forte, takes the high road just about every opportunity and often when you least expect it. For example: the boys wise up to the idea of raising a baby and realize they have to learn how to become fathers. John tries to show Dean how to change a diaper and instead of filling it with something grossly appropriate such as pudding or soggy chocolate, he fills them with everything from quarters to popcorn so he’ll still be surprised when its time for the real thing.
Of course, not all of the jokes work and sometimes you may find yourself questioning if the lack of intelligence of the brothers is real or just written in to make moments even more awkward or uncomfortable. A lot of times, the brothers seem to go out of their way to screw things up, which ruins the comedy if it doesn’t happen fast enough.
The bulk of the comedy relies in the brothers’ pure innocence and director Bob Odenkirk knows the character’s charm and camaraderie are the keys to their comedy by wisely cutting out a lot of scenes where the punchlines were accentuated by a bodily function or a line of dialogue about uncomfortable sexual activities. It’s edgy that knows the best kind of comedy is about walking the edge, not jumping as far over it as you can.
The Upside: It manages to create comedy that doesn’t just rely on being crass.
The Downside: Sometimes the brothers are so dumb (how dumb are they?) that it’s hard to believe they aren’t just being dumb for the sake of being funny.
On the Side: Director Bob Odenkirk is a real American. Click here if you don’t believe me you commie.