Brothers Solomon, The
September 7th, 2007
"The Brothers Solomon" doesn't include a single laugh, yet it's not all that dreadful a picture. I suppose if it didn't star Will Arnett and Will Forte, wasn't directed by Bob Odenkirk, wasn't due for release this weekend, and didn't find me with a job that requires precious time to sit through it, it wouldn't be such a bad film after all.
John (Will Arnett) and Dean (Will Forte) are two happy-go-lucky brothers who want nothing more than to please their ailing father (Lee Majors). Deciding a grandson will do the trick, the clueless boys set out to find a woman who can give them a baby. Finding Janine (Kristen Wiig) on Craigslist, the brothers find the woman of their dreams, artificially inseminating her and spending the next nine months on a roller coaster of life, facing romantic and parental challenges along the way that are no match for their sunny attitude.
Throughout “Solomon,” I kept wondering if John and Dean were just simple, upbeat boys as the screenplay suggests, or were they truly stupid human beings. Written by Forte, there’s really no answer to this question, since “Solomon” is nothing more than a blindfolded endeavor of supreme irreverence; the actor using his time on “SNL” as a trial run on how to make absolutely nothing last longer than it has any right to.
Morons or not, the slapstick efforts of the title characters are the entire movie, boiling the experience of “Solomon” down to a simple question of comedic chemistry. Personally, I would rather have my toenails pulled out one at a time than be forced to watch Will Arnett make the funny. I’ve beaten on the “comedian” plenty over the last year, but he deserves relentless disdain. Not even Weird Al emphasizes his jokes as forcefully as Arnett does. Forte should thank his lucky stars Odenkirk found an actor even more obnoxious than him.
Outside of the occasional crude act, “Solomon” is a harmless comedy, more content exploring the chipper side of the bothers and how it contrasts with everybody’s gloom than reaching for gross-out gags. It isn’t funny, but at least it’s happy, which is more than I can say for Odenkirk’s last directorial effort, the abysmal “Let’s Go to Prison.”
That said, Forte’s scripting doesn’t offer much aside from bizarre gags and references that get their jollies from their very oddness. With dead birds and popcorn (as a symbol of life’s ups and downs), a motif of John Parr’s “St. Elmo’s Fire” theme, and a heavy coating of slimy sexual advances (which the boys find nothing wrong with), “Solomon” is episodic and desperate, leaving nothing to get excited about, with the possible exception of the end credits. I was pretty happy to see those sweet babies arrive.
If Forte and Arnett happen to be your poison, perhaps “Solomon” is a fine choice for a comedic evening. And if you do elect to see it, please let me know: are the Solomon boys a couple of twits or just high on life? I’m still at a loss.
My rating: D+