The Brothers (2001)

THE BROTHERS is a casual-going, frequently funny, and refreshing adult-
oriented romantic comedy (with drama) slash feature-length running com-
mentary on the painful-to-us subject of settling down.  Morris Chest-
nut, Shemar Moore, D.L. Hughley, and Bill Bellamy play the femme-frus-
trated (though not blood-related) title characters-- four single (or 
newly married) professional black men in their late twenties, each 
wrestling with respective "commitment issues."  e.g., nightmares, cold 
feet, terminal fling-flinging, and one brother newly hitched but sans 
honeymoon due to unplanned pregnancy.  (At least he did the honorable 
thing...)  They date, mate, bicker, banter, and make some funny, empty 
promises.  ("I am *not* looking for a girlfriend."  Cut to couple tear-
ing at each other's clothes.)  Plus *non*-romantic maneuvering, now and
then, mostly parental in nature.  (Theirs', like ours', is a largely
dysfunctional lot.)  "Dramedy" ensues, with interactions more genuinely
*funny* than touching.  Methinks that's 'cause the cast-- an ensemble of
lesser-knowns and unknowns-- has better *comic* chops than dramatic. 
(They're an enthusiastic and *agreeable* lot, that's for sure, intently
watchable no matter the under- or overacting.)

Writer/director Gary Hardwick paces the parallel stories with lazy pep, 
providing lots of breathing room but without (too much) added lag.  (Be-
coming *confused* regarding which character is which-- and whose honey
is whose-- is another matter entirely!)  The filmmaker's clearest
strength, however, is his keen, colorful, and never *too* outrageous 
dialogue.  Real, really funny, and refreshingly adult-oriented:  "She 
is fine as Hell," "You look so nurturing to me" (used for purpose of 
detecting women with kids), "Money, multiple orgasms, and beautiful 
shoes that don't hurt like Hell" (on what women want).  And how nice-- 
how *very* nice-- to hear an extended discussion on oral [arguments] 
that's both raunchy *and* real-sounding.  Or, and arguably the film's 
most side-splitting line, one woman-to-woman's advice of "reject your 
[synonym for kitty]."  Now *there's* an interesting FRIED GREEN TOMA-
TOES contrast!  (It isn't *all* guy talk.  The "sisters" get together,
too.  And there's plenty of *couples* talk, so you can pick an action 
movie next time.)  One question:  are we *supposed* to notice that the
movie's most desirable (and admittedly babe-o-licious) women are light-
er than darker skinner?  And, yeah, I'll buy Hardwick's definition of
love, as defined by one character's mother as the offering of the last
piece of food.  Yup, that's the test, Bubba.  Gabrielle Union, Susan Da-
lian, Tamala Jones, Jenifer Lewis, and Clifton Powell. (Rated "R"/140

Grade: B-

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros

Home   |   Recommended   |   Reviews   |   Views   |   Letters   |   Links   |   FAQ   |   Search!

Please report problems to
Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros