Patient:The BrothersProfile: Four guys—one married, one afraid to commit, one who doesn't respect women, one good-looking one who rarely wears a shirt—wrestle with and talk about relationships, getting older and feather dusters. Think Diner meets The Big Chill and is down with Waiting to Exhale.
Symptoms: This is a very funny movie with some of the best lines I've heard in a while, like "Sorry, doc, but my greater self needs the booty." The problem is that the funny lines always seem to come at the beginning of scenes that end with some kind of "meaningful" dialogue—"Now I feel like someone dropped a mountain on my heart" (music swells)—tacked on, accompanied by the requisite cool sax or piano riffs that sound sampled from the Wave. Virtually every scene is divided in half between what is lively and true and what is contrived and introspective—an old Dockers commercial crossed with The View. Diagnosis: We want less meaning and more truth, more "Why do all your stories end up with a feather duster up someone's ass?" Prescription: Note to director/writer Gary Hardwick —trust your writing. You're a very funny guy. Your jokes are telling and true and push the story forward—a story that keeps bogging down in "serious" stuff and insisting we travel down too-familiar roads. The best scene in the whole movie is the one with the married couple arguing about oral sex. Not just because it's the funniest but also because it's the truest. The dialogue grows naturally out of the action, and what the couple say to each other gets right to the heart of what it is to be in a relationship without the help of Kenny G's lips (I apologize for that image). When the husband asks his wife why she won't give him oral sex and she answers, "It's nasty," it resonated—especially with the three women behind me, who screamed back at the screen, "You're damn right!" Prognosis: Follow my prescription, and we end up with a very funny, very true movie. By the way, that stuff I said about the wife not giving oral sex being the truest thing in the movie? I wasn't saying that because, you know . . . I mean it's not like . . . I mean, I love my wife and I . . . I just don't know why everyone makes such a big . . . Awwww, shut the hell up.