Starring Will Arnett and Will Forte. Rated 14A.
The comedic hit of the year is Knocked Up , a film that sums up all the fears of a generation bent on eternal adolescence and has smart social observations beneath its seemingly dumb comedy. Following in its afterbirth is The Brothers Solomon , an extended skit about a Peter Pan or, in this case, two of them facing parenthood. But if you're looking for social commentary, Brothers is strictly Dumb & Dumber .
Nerdy John and Dean Solomon (Will Arnett and Will Forte, respectively) want to grant their comatose father (Lee Majors) his last wish: to have a grandchild. Alas, these 40-year-old virgins are so socially inept they'll never get within spitting, let alone impregnation, distance of a woman. They're so hopeless because they were home-schooled by their single dad in some remote Arctic outpost. One of the film's supposed big laughs is pictures from their prom night, with two ancient Inuit women as their dates. The bros soon realize their only chance is to hire a surrogate ( Saturday Night Live 's Kristen Wiig, apparently paid for her eye-rolling ability) to "pop that thing out of your baby hole". Not surprisingly, she may choose to keep the child in the face of dads so clueless they initially think their contract means they'll get to tag-team her until she conceives.
The two perennially positive brothers don't gel as a comedic team. The same intensity that works on TV for Arnett's Arrested Development character comes off as deranged mugging here, with his preternaturally white chompers flashing across the big screen. SNL's Forte, who also penned the script, comes off better, but his meek geek rarely pulls in any good laughs.
The film's mild, low-raunch brand of deadpan only hits its mark sporadically (such as when the clods choose to "study" children at a playground for parenting tips). More often, its running gags are exhausting, as we suffer through the Solomon patriarch's intensive-care machinery repeatedly blowing the apartment circuitry. And Bob Odenkirk's ( Mr. Show With Bob and David ) styleless direction makes the Farrelly brothers seem like the Coen brothers.
Great comedy gets somewhere close to truth, but the truth here is simply that the Solomon man-boys should have never been allowed to make a deposit in the sperm bank.