Movie Report: Step Brothers (2008)

Book coverWell, this is another film in the Ferrelverse, and a 21st century film at that. I watched it without my boys even though they tend to favor Will Ferrell movies.

At any rate, the film deals with two forty-year-old manchildren, played by Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, whose single parents meet and marry, making the, what, protagonists (Are you kidding me? We have to use that word for their characters?) as step-brothers. And they have childish spats until they discover their similar interests, when they team up for something childish, and then they have another falling out. There’s a subplot about Ferrell’s character’s younger, more successful, brother who acts as a foil for his childishness, and the younger brother’s wife who is crazy hot for the Reilly character for some reason. At the end, they all reconcile.

But they do not grow up.

I guess that’s why I prefer Adam Sandler films rather to Will Ferrell films. The Adam Sandler characters tend to start out boyish–okay, immature and grating–but they’re called to some cause outside themselves, and they grow up over the course of the film. Whereas Ferrell characters do not. The denouement is that the father of the family puts the boat that the boys wrecked into a tree as a treehouse for them to play in, and their love interests accept their, erm, foibles. So, yeah, not much inspiration to be found in this film.

A product of its time, right down to the George W. Bush quote that appears on the screen at the beginning of the film. C’mon, man, kids today don’t identify George W. Bush as the boogeyman anymore.

I cannot say that I will never again watch a Will Ferrell film–I mean, some of them which were a bit more topical had their moments–but overall, probably more of a marker of our decline than funny.

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