out of Five
Running time: 93
Disappointing comedy that takes a single joke and attempts to stretch it over an entire movie, with predictably poor results.
What's it all about?
Will Arnett and Will Forte play John and Dean Solomon, two relentlessly optimistic brothers who have problems interacting with women as a result of being raised in the North Pole by their father, Ed (Lee Majors). When Ed slips into a coma, John and Dean attempt to find a woman – any woman - to father a child and fulfil their father's final wish of providing him with grandchildren.
Naturally, things don't quite go according to plan and after several disastrous attempts, they hire a surrogate (Kristen Wiig), even though her possessive ex (Chi McBride) is none too keen on the idea. Meanwhile, John lusts after his foxy neighbour (The Heartbreak Kid's Malin Akerman) and is thrilled when she agrees to become their father's nurse.
There is at least one excellent gag, namely an extended sequence involving an airplane advertising banner that is genuinely hilarious. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is so laugh-free by comparison that you strongly suspect the entire film was constructed around that sequence alone.
Anyone who's ever seen an episode of Arrested Development will be in no doubt as to Will Arnett's comic genius. However, The Brothers Solomon unfortunately confirms that Arnett's talents are better suited to playing arrogant idiots than good-hearted man-child types.
The film's biggest problem is that its central joke (that the two brothers are smiley happy idiots) just isn't very funny and the characters are hard to warm to as a result, particularly when set against likeable, surprisingly natural performances from Akerman and Wiig.
Though never exactly terrible, The Brothers Solomon is essentially an unfunny sketch padded out to feature length. Wait for the sky-banner sequence to turn up online and watch that instead.
The Brothers Solomon (15)