Plot: John (Will Arnett) and his brother Dean (Will Forte) had an unusual childhood, as their father Ed (Lee Majors) raised them in nearly total isolation at the Arctic Circle. The lack of social interaction is more than evident, as the brothers struggle with even basic situations and often come off as awkward or creepy, especially when it comes to dealing with women. But when Ed slips into a coma and seems to be near death, John and Dean learn that he wanted a grandchild more than anything in the world. The doctor tells them that sometimes coma patients hold on and can even recover if crucial life events are on the line, so the brothers decide to make a grandchild happen. Of course, since neither has any basic social skills, let alone charisma to entice a potential mate, this proves to be an uphill climb. After a chain of ridiculous failures, a potential solution arrives in the form of a surrogate, but can John and Dean handle all the trials and tribulations of impending fatherhood?
Entertainment Value: Revolution Studios made a lot of wacky, over the top comedies, but few were as surreal and bizarre as The Brothers Solomon. The movie follows a traditional narrative, but veers wildly into tangents thanks to the outlandish, often nonsensical characters. So we’ve seen the core of this narrative time and again, but the ridiculous nature of the characters and random flow of the scenes ensures it doesn’t often feel familiar. I do appreciate how ludicrous The Brothers Solomon is, but the movie loses a lot of steam when it tries to be even a little more normal, so the film is uneven in most sequences. When the movie goes for broke and throws common sense to the wind, the humor is outrageous and often hilarious, but the rapid fire nature also means a good amount of the jokes fall flat. I can also see some viewers just being confused by this one, as it is so random and awkward. I do wish the movie would have fully embraced the surreal, absurd elements and dropped all the emotional beats, but even so, there is some wild stuff in this one. So if you appreciate off the wall humor and don’t mind inconsistent humor, The Brothers Solomon has some solid laughs.
The cast is a colorful ensemble and most of them run with the absurd nature of the material, which enhances the humor a great deal. Will Arnett and Will Forte are in the lead roles and commit to the clueless, awkward nature of the characters, even when it is beyond ridiculous. The scene where Forte meets the family of his potential date, it is a highlight and shows how he is sold on the role, including an absolutely cringe level kiss that has to be seen to be believed. The two play off each other so well, which drives up the silliness and to me, that is when the movie works best, when the cast just really dives into the madness. Kristen Wiig also has a prominent role and turns in her usual fun effort, though she’s a little more restrained than normal. I also loved seeing Lee Majors in The Brother Solomon, even if he is in a coma for most of the picture. The cast also includes Bill Hader, Chi McBride, and Malin Akerman.