Rating: 3 stars
Judd Apatow loves to make movies about grown men who are secretly arrested adolescents. In Step Brothers, which is produced by Apatow and reunites Talladega Nights co-stars Will Ferrell and Jon C. Reilly, the concept is taken one step further: These grown men aren’t secretly adolescents, they are living as adolescents—both still dressed like it’s 1984, both still living at home with a single parent, and both still drifting from one after-school-level job to the next.
But what happens when those single parents—Mary Steenburgen (who looks radiant) as Ferrell’s overly doting mother and Richard Jenkins (brilliant as ever) as Reilly’s slightly exasperated dad—get married and the overgrown children are forced to co-exist as step brothers?
Well, hilarity ensues. No . . . really.
Yup, the premise seemed destined to be filed under “Cute Concept That Overstays Its Welcome.” But I must say that by shear force of their own outsized silliness, the team of Reilly and Ferrell had me in stitches for most of the film. Whether they were building an ill-advised bunk-bed, bonding over a mutual love of velici-raptors, beating up Ferrell’s pompous younger brother (Adam Scott), or doing unmentionable things to Reilly’s drum set (this film gleefully earns it R rating)—the brothers proved to be irresistible. Low brow and moronic, yes, but irresistible.