Plot: Peter (Ed Helms) is a divorced doctor who is a little burned out on his life choices, while his brother Kyle (Owen Wilson) is his polar opposite, an optimistic free spirit who blows where life’s winds take him. The two reunite to be part of a wedding, as their mother Helen (Glenn Close) is about to walk down the aisle. In the midst of it all, Peter notices that a man on television looks a lot like the man he has been told was his father, but he was also told his father had passed on. When confronted, Helen comes clean and says that because of her sexual adventures, she isn’t sure who the real father is, but she has some potential candidates. This sparks Peter into going out to find his real dad, while Kyle is determined to come along and if nothing else, make sure his brother has some fun in the process. But can they discover who their real father is and if so, will it give Peter the answers he seems to need so badly?
Entertainment Value: This silly, broad comedy isn’t high art, but it does have potential incest, a possible serial killer hitchhiker, and of course, a grown man urinating all over a small child. In other words, Father Figures might be about the bond of brothers and the need for a male role model, but it is more about lowbrow laughs and some wild, over the top performances. The narrative is simple, as this is a road comedy about the brothers and the various colorful folks they happen to encounter. The pace is brisk and while the humor is inconsistent, a decent amount of it lands. This is rapid fire stuff and aimed at adult audiences, with all kinds of sexual humor and graphic language, but it is wrapped in a saccharine package. In other words, a lot of questionable things unfold, but the movie never feels mean spirited in the least. Owen Wilson and Ed Helms are capable, but carried more by enthusiasm than anything else, while Glenn Close embraces the lowbrow nature of the material. Terry Bradshaw, Ving Rhames, and J.K. Simmons have fun smaller roles, but the real surprise here is Katt Williams, who is quite good in a more restrained than usual performance. This one is inconsistent, but a mostly harmless and watchable picture.
No nakedness. Despite the almost constant sexual humor involved, no real naked flesh or sexual situations are presented. A little blood, but the usual scuffs and bruises from some fisticuffs, so not enough to rack up a point. The movie has a few fight scenes and some exaggerated action scenes, such as the train near miss featured in the trailer, but it is never graphic or overly tense. The dialogue is silly and inconsistent, but has some good lines buried in with the mediocre filler. The humor overall is moderate, but the movie really tries too hard and is imbalanced in approach, stuck between raunchy comedy and more sentimental material, which doesn’t help. But regardless, a few really sharp lines do come across, so it earns some points there. I just wish the trailers hadn’t shown so much. The movie makes some noble attempts at road trip wackiness, but like most movies of this kind, never commits to the wild moments. But enough of the smaller moments added up to earn one point, I think.
Overall Insanity: 1/10