Monday, January 21, 2008


The absurd humor of The Brothers Solomon works so well because it's tied into the arrested adolescence of its two title characters, John and Dean Solomon. Home schooled and separated from a normal social upbringing, the man-children try their best at dating, but without a life reference guide to refer to, they fare no better than would Kaspar Hauser on the singles circuit.

At first, you think the script by Will Forte is simply a gag-filled page turner, but when the crux of the story kicks in - John and Dean want to have a son to help their comatose father recover - the goofball humanity of the brothers becomes clear. Their big-hearted ambition is in the right place, but a homespun naivete holds them back. It's like Dumb and Dumber with brains. (That's no slag on the Farrelly's. Their best films are the progenitors for these types of comedies.)

The movie's best moment is its grandiose climax connecting every minor and major character in the film. It's a stunt that gets funnier the longer it plays out. Forte's trick is that he catches you off guard with these set pieces. At times, you may not laugh during The Brothers Solomon as much as you revel in its lunacy.

Commercially, The Brothers Solomon bombed, but with its DVD release there's a second chance of it finding an audience. Looking back, it fits right into 2007's list of pregnant comedies: Knocked-Up, Waitress, Juno. But as a socially-aware, quirk-observant film, it goes beyond that and becomes a comical champion for the uncoventional family.


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