A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that teens may well be interested in this lowbrow comedy -- despite (or, more likely, because of) its frequent jokes about bodily functions and sex, crude innuendo, and strong language (particularly variations on "f--k"). There's some mild slapstick violence (falls, wrestling, minor car collisions), as well as some awkward sight gags (a bloodless dart in the nose), and brief references to drugs (morphine) and drinking. Two dating jokes might be considered mean: Dean calls a girl "fat," and a sight-gag flashback shows the brothers with their prom dates, two older Eskimo women. An African-American character verbally challenges stereotypes but ends up physically fulfilling them, in language and menacing demeanor (he's a walking stereotype).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE BROTHERS SOLOMON begins with the titular pair -- John (Will Arnett) and Dean (Will Forte) signing up for a dating Web site. When their father (Lee Majors) falls into a coma and his doctor says it might help if the guys fulfill his one wish, John and Dean set out to find a baby mama. In need of money, Janine (Kristen Wiig) signs on for the job, as long as they do it through a sperm bank (which leads to the inevitable masturbation and porno magazine jokes). Though her boyfriend, James (Chi McBride), initially objects, soon all four adults are planning for the baby's arrival.
Is it any good?
Always a beat behind its own jokes, Bob Odenkirk's film is a poorly paced comedy that unintentionally accomplishes something worth noting: It makes Knocked Up look like high-brow comedy. The quest to give their dad a grandkid isn't the film's center – it's really a buddy story complete with requisite break-up-and-make-up sequence.
Even when the brothers do learn some kind of lesson, it hardly matters. They're obviously not supposed to fit in with the rest of us, considering how often the film asks viewers to laugh at their stupidity. When, at long last, Janine tries to convince the brothers' hot neighbor that John and Dean are really nice guys, she doesn't believe it. And, despite Arnett and Forte's strangely goofy brand of charm, neither will you.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of R-rated comedies. Do the raunchy bits make movies like this funnier, or do they go overboard? Do you think anyone in real life is quite as socially clueless as the Solomon brothers? Does exaggerating people's quirks make them funnier? Why or why not? How does the brothers' view of women affect their attempts to start relationships? Parents and teens can also discuss how the movie defines "family." How does the Solomon family change by the end of the movie?
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