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John and Dean Solomon may have Ph.D.s, but they're socially inept after their widowed father home-schooled them in Antarctica. When their beloved dad falls into a coma, they hatch a plan to revive him using a positive emotional shock - giving him a grandchild. They find a surrogate mom through Craig's list - she's Janine, a penniless local musician, with a large, intimidating boyfriend, James. The pregnancy gives the Solomons nine months to learn to be parents. In a side story, John pursues Tara, a neighbor who takes care of their dad when John and Dean are out; but she has no interest in John. Can the boys keep Janine and James happy, keep dad alive, and learn to be dads? Written by
The unequivocal epitome of absurdity, The Brothers Solomon is equal parts stunning hilarity and eyebrow-raising ridiculousness. With a mind-bogglingly offbeat sense of "Dumb and Dumber" humor, this film introduces such sustained socially-inept insanity by its unpredictably bizarre lead characters that it is constantly difficult to predict where it's all going. Despite the berserk brothers' insensibilities, this madcap farce manages to be entertaining and different from the recent slew of R-rated comedies.
When their father lapses into a coma and Dean (Will Forte) and John (Will Arnett) Solomon learn that his only regret was not seeing a grandchild, the two brothers determine to acquire one no matter what the cost. After the romantically (and socially) inept twosome fail at wooing a mate to bear their child, they turn to other means of conception Initially The Brothers Solomon appears to be an even wackier and more ludicrous version of "Dumb and Dumber", with a goofy duo of misfits who lack all cognitive thought processes. Early on, the film even steals a joke from the Farrelly Brothers' comedy, which is a huge mistake considering how widely recognized Harry and Lloyd's dialogue has become. But after the initial letdown, The Brother Solomon redeems itself with a nonstop barrage of hilariously awkward slapstick and unpredictable kookiness.
Like Steve and Doug Butabi from "A Night at the Roxbury", the Solomons never let their spirits down, as if they're completely oblivious to their unwieldy social shortcomings. Their chipper attitude remains constant, even when they disagree, and it casts a bizarre sense of satisfaction straight through to the moronic conclusion. To say that the events in the film are even remotely believable or sensible would be a gross exaggeration, yet one has to appreciate the inane degree of preposterousness the film achieves with its extremely over-the-top comedy.
From picking out a pornographic magazine at a sperm bank (they struggle over a copy of Indigenous Weekly), to a candlelit hallway dinner, to "kickass" parenting training involving hiding and mistreating baby dolls, to stalking children at a playground, the absurd gimmicks and slapstick the brothers employ is surprisingly entertaining. The entire film tests the limits to which imbecilic comedy can be pushed, and once that line is crossed, they continue forward into unknown territories of illogicality. Puppetry-based sex training and friendship-simulation aside, The Brothers Solomon is utterly pointless and largely trivial, and yet somehow the all new lows of intelligence make for an unusually high amount of laughs.
Reaching unforeseen heights in creative absurdity and comedic eccentricity, The Brothers Solomon appears uninhibited by stereotypical comedy output. The humor on display is a seldom seen blend of disturbing mockery and playful stupidity that is ultimately hit or miss. But when it succeeds, it does so with masterful relish creating simultaneous shock and laugh-out-loud silliness. Airplane banners, pedophilia, and infant abuse never looked so funny.
Mike and Joel Massie
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