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step brothers
Click for full sized poster

Step Brothers

Starring Will Ferrell and John C Reilly; Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins
Screenplay by Adam McCay and and Will Ferrell
Directed by Adam McCay
website: www.sonypictures.com/movies/stepbrothers

IN SHORT: As full of four letter words as it is full of laughs. [Rated R. minutes]

It is an unfortunate fact in this country that close to fifty per cent of all marriages end in divorce. Of course, that means a lot of middle aged folk are hunting down new mates, which is where Robert Doback (Richard Jenkins) and Nancy Huff (Mary Steenburgen) come into play. He's a lecturer on something scientific. She has breasts he wants to bury his nose into. Ah, love! Ah, marriage! Ah, what to do with 40-ish single sons who haven't worked a steady job a day in their lives. Both have sons who don't necessarily like having their parents attention focused on anyone but themselves. Second problem? One is thirty nine and the other is forty and both are unemployed and still living at home. Thus, Step Brothers, a funny movie for those who haven't yet been broken of the four letter words as part of normal vocabulary habit.

Cranky was acquainted with this incredible blonde woman a lot of years ago. She broke me of that four letter word habit right quick. Which is probably why we burned out on Step Brothers (also) right quick. It's a shame because the simple concept of a pair of 40 year olds living like 12 year olds could yield a lot of very funny stuff, sans obscenities.

As  tiresome as Step Brothers got for us,  just two seats down was a dude who easily weighed 300+ pounds, bouncing up and down and clapping his little girly hands with glee with every joke and/or use of a four letter word as an adjective. Just when I thought he was all tuckered out (coincidentally, just about the time I started to get really tired of the over use of four letter words) the script dropped a [biological term for a woman's private parts -- we've got families reading these things and have to avoid anything above ninth grade biology or we get complaints like you wouldn't believe] or three into the dialog . . . and the bouncing and the little girly hand clapping started all over again.

We laughed as hard as at (sorry to say it) The Love Guru, but that bomb was four letter word free. Maybe that's all that counts as funny anymore. Not to me. Not (necessarily) to the TV critic behind me who, for the first time in the decade plus that I've known him, started kicking the back of my seat.  We're filling space here because explaining that the brothers will eventually unite to save the day; that there is a successful brother (Adam Scott) who lives to make his failing sibling look bad and that his neglected wife (Kathryn Hahn) will grab physical attention anywhere she can get it (guess who...) is so obvious that well, this whole script is template generic drek.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Step Brothers , he would have paid . . .

$2.00 [7.00]

and this is important -- we are not the demographic target for this drek. Those in high school or maybe just out of college, ie. Will Ferrell's usual fans, will love this stuff. Thus, the [7.00]

That's not Cranky. Parental units with kids under 15 or so should keep 'em the heck away from the theater. Yeah, they probably know the "f" word but that doesn't mean they need to go a-swimming in it.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Adam McCay
Click to buy films starring Will Ferrell
Click to buy films starring John C. Reilly
Click to buy films starring Mary Steenburgen

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.