With The Brothers Solomon, Will Arnett continues to squander the goodwill he engendered as Gob on Arrested Development; SNL‘s Will Forte, without an estimable reputation to sully in the first place, merely reestablishes that he’s not funny. Written by Forte and directed by Bob Odenkirk, this story about two dim-witted brothers trying to have a baby in order to make their coma-bound father proud confirms—especially after Andy Samberg’s Hot Rod—the grave desperation of Hollywood to find a big-screen funnyman not named Will Ferrell or associated with Judd Apatow. Mining SNL for talent, though, is at the present moment an unwise course of action, as is once again made painfully apparent by this bomb. Brightly smiling morons John (Arnett) and Dean (Forte) Solomon, having proven hopeless at romance—such as via a date with The Office‘s Jenna Fischer, sporting a why-am-I-here look on her face—instead achieve their goal by finding a baby’s mama via Craigslist. Given that Kristen Wiig’s surrogate incubator Janine seems roughly 100 times too smart to engage in any sort of business arrangement with these two yutzes, it’s a triumphant development that makes zero sense. And one that also provides a venue for Chi McBride, as Janine’s boyfriend, to play the “big scary black man” who’s the butt of racist jokes made no more tolerable by the filmmakers’ wink-wink, we-don’t-really-mean-it pose. Humor is in critically short supply, yet it’s somewhat shocking to find The Brothers Solomon so inept that it can’t even properly deliver its requisite ‘70s-to-‘80s nostalgia, with Odenkirk incessantly playing the St. Elmo’s Fire theme song to no agreeable effect, and confining his one old-school celeb, Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors, to a hospital bed as the boys’ silent, motionless father. Given the surrounding mess, he fares best.
- Screen Gems
- 90 min
- Bob Odenkirk
- Will Forte
- Will Arnett, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Malin Åkerman, Chi McBride, Bob Odenkirk, Jenna Fischer, Lee Majors
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