Stupid comedy lacks sophistication

  • By Robert Horton Herald Movie Critic
  • Thursday, September 6, 2007 4:32pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Rounding off a summer of intentionally stupid comedies, “The Brothers Solomon” lacks the sophistication of “Hot Rod” or “Balls of Fury.” And when you lack the sophistication of “Balls of Fury,” you’re in trouble.

This movie has some funny conceptual ideas, but there aren’t enough of them, and they require patience. Lots of patience.

Two reliable comedians play the leads. Will Arnett, late of “Arrested Development,” and Will Forte, from “Saturday Night Live,” are brothers with a really sunny disposition.

They grin through the opening credits like a pair of Ken dolls, and brotherly hugs are the norm. The plot has them hoping to present their comatose father (Lee Majorsyes, the Six Million Dollar Man) with a grandson. The problem is, the boys can’t get a girlfriend.

The solution comes with a woman (Kristen Wiig, also from “SNL”), who might have her own angle on the subject. Chi McBride plays her hulking, easily offended boyfriend.

So there are lots of jokes about dating, sperm banks, and an advertising banner trailed from an airplane (that last one is hard to explain, but reasonably amusing).

“The Brothers Solomon” was written by Will Forte, whose sketches on “SNL” frequently have a strange, glazed quality that can be very funny. It’s directed by Bob Odenkirk (one-half of “Mr. Show” and the director of last year’s “Let’s Go to Prison”). In other words, the people involved have good credentials.

The goal here, with a movie about two cheerful idiots, would seem to be a male version of “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” (something of an unknown cult classic). But there’s not enough to chew on, and the put-on smile of the brothers eventually gets pretty one-note.

As an extended sketch, the movie would be fine, but it doesn’t cover 90 minutes. By the time the brothers began playing darts with Forte’s face against the dartboard, I wanted to laugh, but felt a little tired of the whole thing even if a man taking a dart in the nose ought to be a sure-fire laugh. Which it should.

Will Arnett (left) and Will Forte star in “The Brothers Solomon.”

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