Step Brothers (film)
|Directed by||Adam McKay|
|Music by||Jon Brion|
|Edited by||Brent White|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
105 minutes (unrated version)
|Box office||$128.1 million|
Step Brothers is a 2008 American buddy slapstick comedy film directed by Adam McKay, written by McKay and Will Ferrell and starring Ferrell and John C. Reilly. It follows Brennan (Ferrell) and Dale (Reilly), two middle-aged men who are forced to live together as step brothers.
The film was released on July 25, 2008, two years after Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Both films share main actors, as well as the writing and producing team.
39-year-old Brennan Huff and 40-year-old Dale Doback are men-children still living at home. Brennan lives with his mother, Nancy; and Dale has been living with his father, Robert; the parents meet and fall in love. Robert and Nancy are married, forcing Brennan and Dale to live with each other as step brothers.
Brennan and Dale dislike each other, blaming the other for interfering with their lifestyles. Brennan plays Dale's drum set and a brawl on the front lawn ensues. They are grounded for a week and they must find jobs within a month or they will be forced out of the house.
When Brennan's younger brother Derek, a helicopter leasing agent, comes to visit with his family, he mocks their unsuccessful lives and being spoiled brats, which entices Dale to punch him in the face. Brennan is awed that Dale stands up to Derek. Derek's wife Alice finds Dale's courage a turn on, beginning a sexual affair between the two. Brennan and Dale use the incident to discover their shared interests and develop a brotherly friendship.
Robert schedules several job interviews for Brennan and Dale, who offend the interviewers with their disrespectful attitudes. Robert and Nancy reveal their plans to retire and sail the world on Robert's boat and allow Derek to sell the house, and demand that Brennan and Dale attend therapy and find other living arrangements.
Dale and Brennan decide to start an entertainment company, "Prestige Worldwide". They present their first music video at Derek's birthday party, which includes footage of them accidentally wrecking Robert's boat. Robert refuses to make an investment and spanks Brennan after a heated verbal exchange between the two. On Christmas Day, Robert announces he wants to divorce Nancy, causing Brennan and Dale to break down.
Blaming each other for their parents' divorce, the boys fight, but they decide to go their separate ways. Brennan works for Derek's helicopter leasing firm and Dale works for a catering company. Weeks later, Brennan and Dale are fully mature adults and are becoming successful.
Brennan manages the Catalina Wine Mixer for Derek's company and invites Robert and Nancy. They hire the catering company for which Dale works. The party is a success, until the lead singer of Uptown Girl, a 1980's Billy Joel cover band, responds to a man in the crowd by using explicit profanity, and is removed from the event. With the stage empty, Derek fires Brennan for the singer's mishap, Robert ultimately encourages Brennan and Dale to be their eccentric child-at-heart selves again. Brennan and Dale take the stage and perform "Con Te Partiro." Derek is so moved by the performance that he and Brennan make amends. Dale terminates his affair with Alice to her dismay.
Six months later, Robert and Nancy are reunited and move back into their old home. Brennan and the therapist Dennise get married, while Brennan and Dale form a successful entertainment company that runs karaoke events. Robert has his boat repaired and put in the backyard. In a mid-credits scene, Brennan and Dale stand up to a group of bullies from a middle school who abused Dale a year before. In a post-credits scene, Brennan and Dale sleepwalk once more.
- Will Ferrell as Brennan Huff
- John C. Reilly as Dale Doback
- Richard Jenkins as Robert Doback
- Mary Steenburgen as Nancy Huff-Doback
- Adam Scott as Derek Huff
- Kathryn Hahn as Alice Huff, Derek's wife
- Andrea Savage as Denise
- Rob Riggle as Randy
- Logan Manus as Chris Gardocki
- Lurie Poston as Tommy
- Elizabeth Yozamp as Tiffany
- Ken Jeong as Employment Agent
- Wayne Federman as Don
- Abigail Wagner as Erica
- Carli Coleman and Brandon T. Webb as the first homebuyers.
- Phil LaMarr as the Second Homebuyer
- Matt Walsh as Drunk Corporate Guy
- Seth Rogen as a sporting goods manager
- Gillian Vigman as Pam
- Horatio Sanz as the lead singer of "Uptown Girl", an 80s Billy Joel cover band
- Brady Scanlon as a "Boats 'N' Hoes" music video extra.
Step Brothers received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 55%, based on 180 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The relentless immaturity of the humor is not a total handicap for this film, which features the consistently well-matched talents of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly." At the website Metacritic, which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Roger Ebert gave the film 1 1/2 out of 4 stars and stated, "When did comedies get so mean? Step Brothers has a premise that might have produced a good time at the movies, but when I left, I felt a little unclean".
Home media release
The film was released for home video on December 2, 2008 in a single-disc rated edition, a single-disc unrated edition and a 2-disc unrated edition. The film generated sales an estimated 3.87 million units in DVD and Blu-ray, totaling $63.7 million. For the home video release, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Adam McKay recorded a commentary track mostly in song, accompanied by Jon Brion; the track covers "the movie-making process [and] their characters’ offscreen lives" in remarks that range "from the inspired to the irritatingly prolonged, but when Ferrell and Reilly really get into a good groove, they’re actually funnier than the main feature."
McKay was also interviewed about the possible sequel. “We’re kicking around the idea of Step Brothers 2," he said. "We feel like there’s way more fat to be mined there. While it isn’t quite the legend that Anchorman is, it has built kind of a nice following. We think it could be a pretty fun one.” He added that Ferrell and Reilly's characters would be mature and have jobs. "One of them’s married and has a kid. They’re still kind of goofballs but they’ve taken three or four steps. Then we have an idea for something happens that knocks him back to square one, and one of the brothers, John C. Reilly sort of instigates it, like ‘we can’t take this anymore.’ And things go really bad, their lives kind of fall apart. They have to pull it back together is sort of the basic structure." McKay has also said that ideas that were not used in the first film may be used in the sequel.
McKay spoke to Empire in February 2014 and appeared to rule out a sequel to Anchorman 2 or Step Brothers saying, "No, that’s the last sequel we’re gonna do. There’s nothing more fun to me than new characters and a new world. And now we’re releasing this alt version, we’re totally satisfied. No Anchorman 3."
However, in an interview with Collider  posted on October 21, 2014, McKay indicated the door was still open for a Step Brothers sequel at some point, while making clear it wasn't a short term development priority.
“We have a whole story [for Step Brothers 2], an outline that we’re happy with. We were ready to go, and you know the story of [how] we got the call on Anchorman 2. We’re not gonna do it now ‘cause we just did a sequel, I don’t wanna get into the sequel business too much. It was kind of a novelty to do one of them and it was certainly very interesting and I had never done anything like it. So I want to go make some original movies—or you know, The Big Short is an adaptation but do some different stuff. But who knows? 2-3 years, 3-4 years. I mean the funny thing with Step Brothers is if those guys are in their 50’s it still works, so we could easily return to that, but for now no sequels.”
- "Step Brothers Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-03-29.
- "Step Brothers: Review". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- "Step Brothers - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- "Now with extra farts! 25 1/2 gimmicky DVD commentary tracks". The A.V. Club. November 1, 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
But to make it more of a challenge, Ferrell and company sing most of the commentary, accompanied by Jon Brion, who vamps while the boys free-associate about the movie-making process, their characters’ off-screen lives, and the exorbitant price they had to pay for a pair of fake testicles. Because it’s all spontaneous, the commentary ranges from the inspired to the irritatingly prolonged, but when Ferrell and Reilly really get into a good groove, they’re actually funnier than the main feature.
- McGlynn, Katla (2011-01-04). "Is There A 'Step Brothers' Rap Album In The Works?". Huffington Post.
- Jagernauth, Evin (2012-11-13). "Exclusive: Adam McKay Says 'Step Brothers' Rap Album Fell Apart, Sequel Still Possible But Won't Be Next". The Playlist.
- "Anchorman and Step Brothers sequels?". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- ""Step Brothers": Reunited And It Feels So Good". The Urban Daily. 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Zakarin, Jordan (2011-06-17). "EXCLUSIVE: Major 'Hunger Games' Casting Confusion". Huffington Post.
- "Adam McKay Accepts the Death Of ‘Anchorman 2′ And Pitches ‘Step Brothers’ Sequel | News". Screen Junkies. 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Germain Lussier (February 27, 2014). "‘Anchorman 3′ Won’t Happen Says Adam McKay". Slashfilm.com. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
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