- Released Internationally on 25/07/08
- Released in Malta by KRS on 08/10/08
In a nutshell
Two grown men, who still live at home with their single parent, are forced to move in together when their parents get married.
Why we’re hyped
Ridiculous concepts like this can either fall flat, or provide a barrage of laughs, based on who handles them. In the hands of the men mentioned below, this looks promising.
Who’s in it?
Will Ferrell can now boast a string of insane comedies perfectly suited to his bizarre humour, as well as a much-lauded ‘serious’ performance in 2006’s Stranger than Fiction. Here he teams up with John C. Reilly, who sparred with him in Talladega Nights, and they both look the part perfectly – bright-eyed mummy’s boys who just found a new best-friend, albeit roughly forty years old. The ubiquitous Judd Apatow produces, whilst Ferrell and Reilly themselves both contributed to the story and script. Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights) directs.
The eyes have it
The promotional poster (see trailer link below) says most of what you need to know about this film. That child-like awe and playfulness is seen on their faces for most of the film. Ferrell and Reilly have crafted these characters themselves, and they dive into them with all the wide-eyed wonder one would expect from 40-year olds who still live like teenagers. The two play out the concept with great enthusiasm, and it’s hilarious to watch them go from teenage tantrum to geeky amazement as they sleepwalk through their direction-less lives. They fit the part so wonderfully, that it’s actually during the later scenes when they finally act grown up that they seem a bit awkward.
Fun plot, odd extras
Fun as the main concept may be, it was never going to last over ninety minutes. Unfortunately, the necessary padding doesn’t work as well as Ferrell and Reilly’s chemistry. The scenes with Ferrell’s successful brother and his wife tend to grate at times, as does the relationship with and between the two parents in question.
Moments of merriment
Fortunately, for every low-key gag or uncomfortable moment you have to sit through, there’s another of Ferrell and Reilly’s screwball scenes around the corner. Highlights include their multiple failed job interviews, their confrontation with the local (teenage) bullies, their foray into the music business, and especially their plots to stop the sale of their parents’ house. These two are a joy to watch.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/stepbrothers/ (High-res QuickTime)