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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Step Brothers - A Review

Thinking of this movie the words of the Apostle Paul come to mind "When I was a child,I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put the ways of childhood behind me..." (1 Corinthians 13:11) Herein lies another one of Will Farrel's painfully crazy performances which seem to make no sense and yet once your in the thick of it, its so hard to look away! Personally this movie had a lot to laugh at and relate to but every good thing is also balanced out by something painful. Namely the swearing. As I walked out of this film I protested to my wife "You know, this movie would have been funny without the swearing!" I'm still not at a place in my spiritual development to put an outright ban on swearing in film. In my personal life this is something I try not to indulge in but in movies when an actor is portraying another character, say a soldier who has just had his legs blown off or the Lieutenant commander Data about to crash land the saucer section of the USS Enterprise I sort of feel that if it suits the character and the situation then it makes the movie more believable (as believable as Star Trek possibly could be at least). But in this case it was unnecessary, really, and it took away from the film. Will Ferrell plays Brennan Huff, a 40 year old who very definitely failed to launch and still lives at home supported by his mother until suddenly she meets Dr Robert and decides to remarry. Brennan finds himself not only acquiring a new Dad but a Step brother, Dale Doback, played brilliantly by John C.Reilly (who strangely reminded me of an old flat mate of mine). The rapport between them is one of instant murder, threatening to kill each other in their sleep. Predictably though, they become best friends and go from playing Karate in the garage to joining their beds together as bunks only for one to squash the other - you know, the sort of thing you did when you were 10. And there's the gimic - two fully grown men behaving in a way that only a preteen could. And although that should have been a painful premise there was something nostalgic about it which kind of adds to the films appeal. There aren't many moral aspects to this film. If you can get past the swearing its really just a good laugh but, and this may have been accidental, it does raise awareness of the growing problem that so many men reach adulthood not having a clue what they are supposed to do next. The two "boys" are forced to look for jobs and go about it in an incredibly childish way and after a day of failed interviews Brennan sits there in his tuxedo and asks Dale "How are you supposed to be an adult anyway? Am I supposed to walk around with my diploma in my pocket? What are you supposed to do?" And sadly its a good point. I've actually sat in a conversation with an ill prepared 21 year old who asked me pretty much the same question. So if the film says anything its that tough lovin and guidance really need to start while your kids are still kids! But this is a film review. Not an episode of Doctor Phil. So on that note, if you can get past the "F" words, the various references to adult magazines and occasional partial nudity of the Something About Mary variety then this is a very funny film but not for kids and not if you're trying to keep your head free of toilet humour!

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