Step Brothers

Step Brothers (Will Ferrell, John C. Reilley, Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen) — I may have coined the phrase “grunge comedy” to refer to the genre of R-rated films with gross language and images, gratuitous nudity, and a combination of new and veteran comedians with ties to producer/director Judd Apatow and/or Saturday Night Live.  The people who bring you most Will Ferrell, Seth Rogan, and Bill Heder movies bring you Step Brothers, a gross, stupid, yet amusing story of two lazy, dense, immature 39 and 40-year-olds (Ferrell as Brennan and Reilley as Dale) whose older, single parents marry and move themselves and the boys into one house.  Played by veteran character actors Richard Jenkins (The Visitor among many) and Mary Steenburgen (Back to the Future II among many), the parents have coddled their doofusses for years.  Of course, the two idiots hate each other for violating their space and blowing up their protected worlds until they realize that they have more in common than differences.  As a result, we get exposed body parts (or really facsimiles), toilet humor of the worst kind, and hysterical romps that create guilty pleasures and that kind of laughing that emanates from your base instincts.  I just assume that none of these movies are really worthy films.  So the best you can do is compare them to each other and rank them appropriately.  For me, Apatow’s movies (he is producer of this one, too, along with my brother’s former partner, Jimmy Miller) range from Talladega Nights and Anchorman on the decent side to Knocked Up on the other.  This one fits on the better side of the grunge comedies for sure but it’s still aimed primarily at pre-pubescent and hormone-raged teens as well as immature twenty-somethings.  Step Brothers is not for me but it might be for you (but certainly but not your younger kids).


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