John C Reilly Week Day One: Step Brothers

Kong:  Skull Island comes out this week.  Among the featured cast members for this film is one John C. Reilly.

Jenny, for some reason, doesn’t like this man’s work.

So, here’s a quick series giving out a full five days of John C. Reilly movies, starting with one of his more popular films, Step Brothers.

The John C. Reilly Factor

Yeah, I had an alternate title for this series.

Anyhoo, I’ve long been a fan of Will Ferrell’s work, though mostly when he’s paired with frequent collaborator Adam McKay at director.  Therefore, it sure was odd that somehow I hadn’t seen Step Brothers.  This was the movie everyone tends to ask me about when I mention liking Ferrell’s work.

As it is, it’s a fun but extremely weird movie.  Ferrell and Reilly play a pair of forty-year old men who both still live with their respective single parents and act like children.  Ferrell’s Brennan lives with his doting mom Nancy (Mary Steenburgen) while Reilly’s Dale lives with his frustrated father Robert (Richard Jenkins).  Why are these two guys like they are?  Nancy mentions how Brennan has a wonderful singing voice but was upstaged as a child at a talent show but his a-hole younger brother Derek (Adam Scott).  As for Dale, he’s been like this since his mother died when he was a kid.  Things get weird when Nancy and Robert meet at a conference, fall in love, and get married.

All the members of the cast are perfect in their respective roles, but really, Ferrell could play a man-child in his sleep at this point.  This is John C. Reilly week, so how’d he do?

I’d say he does better.  Both men act very much like children in ways that most movies about immature adults rarely actually do.  They engage in child-like reasoning, engage in childish play, behave in the cruel manner of stupid children, and have ridiculous career ambitions, all the while not acting like true adults.  Reilly gets the added bonus of being, for some reason, inexplicably attractive to Derek’s incredibly downtrodden wife Alice (Katherine Hahn).  Seeing her somehow get off with the extremely sexually oblivious Dale makes for a special kind of weird that fits this movie like a glove.

In point of fact, I wouldn’t even call this movie particularly funny at face value.  What laughs coming from Step Brothers stem from the perfect casting of the main characters.  Eight Reillys out of ten.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: