By Jailin Turner
Step Brothers (2008), made for those who can relate to the lazy or unconcerned; uptight people need not review these loose comedies that are meant to be raunchy and ridiculous, if you’re on the wavelength you’ll get it. This movie is a favorite amongst myself and so many people I know. It’s simple, it’s stupid, and we love it because of that. You don’t need to think so much about the joke, and that is what makes it familiar and warm.
Unable to reel in above a 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie falls at a rotten old 55% on the Tomatometer and has only reached a 51 metascore on Metacritic. Made for a certain genre of comedy fans, not all will understand the jokes and on-screen chemistry that is shared between Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly). Peter Bradshaw with The Guardian writes “another unashamedly juvenile comedy from the awe-inspiringly busy Judd Apatow production line” in the opening of his review and later adds that , “this goofy comedy is a DVD rental only”. Yeah… maybe in 2008 or 2009 it would serve good only as a rental, but since then I think it has become more than that and a classic amongst the simple-minded comedies. It is a movie I feel like I can watch over and over and it does not get old, it can be in the background whilst amongst friends as we tune in and out, laughing occasionally. In my opinion, I think at times we need a juvenile break that is all so familiar and to have this on DVD at all in a home is essential if you are a comedy fan of the sort, so in my eyes Bradshaw got it wrong we he saw this as a negative.
Step Brothers is a movie written by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, starring Will Ferrell himself (of course) and John C. Reilly, the somewhat ridiculous comedic couple who have a couple other films together. In all honesty, this film is not much different than their other films, filled with their one-liners that leave you giggling time and time again. Step Brothers is about two incompetent, comfortable older white guys that still live at home with their parents. Not that I can relate to them in these ways, I still love this movie because although this film goes about it in the most unconventional and ridiculous of ways, it gets its point across.
One of the aspects of this movie that make it so funny to me is how catchy and random the jokes are. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Derek (Ferrell’s brother in the film) and his family are on their way to the parents’ house where Brennan and Dale still reside. In this scene, Derek, decides that his family needs to practice their singing and when they start singing it is so beautiful, yet so unexpected. It starts as a lovely a cappella, and then in comes Derek, criticizing his wife saying “flat, so flat, you don’t even look good while you’re singing, the worse thing I’ve ever heard, this is 12 hundred dollars a week for voice lessons and this is what I get? Okay I’m going to save it with a solo”. Afterwards he proceeds to sing in a very high voice while changing the lyrics to “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns N’ Roses so that he is roasting his wife’s singing abilities…while almost crashing the car and no one has stopped singing. Not only was it funny, but it was also wholesome and showed talent that one might not see in a regular comedy.
I also enjoy this film because on some levels I feel like these stepbrothers are very relatable as they fumble through life. I’ve been lazy, sluggish, and unconcerned and just goofing off in life. I feel like being silly and having to go through those slug-like periods is necessary to find yourself. It happens at a different point in life for people, these bozos just waited until they were in their 40’s to actually do something about it. They decided to start a business that is into everything, called Prestige Worldwide. Before becoming successful they go through many bad episodes, including crashing their parents’ boat, going from one failed job interview to the next, and one in particular where Dale farts for like 30 seconds straight. They had no focus or filter for a long time, but they got it together. I really like that they made the characters older in this film because it shows how they did not give up on their dream, even in their middle-age.
I feel like those critics who rated this movie poorly may have never failed or been truly bad at something (or a lot of things in Brennan and Dale’s case) in their life and simply cannot relate as they find this movie monotonous, dull, and just like any other Ferrell movie. I feel like this sort of simple, idiot-like humor is not for everyone, but for people who want a break from the seriousness. Amongst catching my attention with humor, it goes beyond that and shows how that even though people may view you as “not s**t” you can still make something of yourself doing the things you love in a way that pleases you. Along with being simple, funny, and telling one to follow their dreams, it is also a story of not giving up when it seems you’re against the odds.