Finding the Dinosaur: A 'Step Brothers' Appreciation
July 24, 2014 3:35 PM   Subscribe

"[F]rom the vantage point of a 12-year-old, adulthood is something best avoided. The key question, then, is how long can you run?" Rolling Stone launches their new monthly feature, "Be Kind, Rewind" with a new look at Step Brothers.

"For Step Brothers' Brennan Huff and Dale Doback, the answer, respectively, is until the ages of 39 and 40. As played by Will Ferrell (Brennan) and John C. Reilly (Dale), those two, through a toxic and hilarious combination of stupid-like-a-fox wit, tenacity, manipulative genius, parental enabling and a truly shocking level of an innate emotional retardation, have managed to take a steaming dump on the notion of growing up. Peter Pan has nothing on them."
posted by Tevin (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
>...looks more and more like the funniest movie of the 21st century

I liked this movie just fine, to the extent that I can remember it, but...for real?
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:48 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

but...for real?

I'd disagree, but I do really like that movie. Since 2000 though, there's been Shaun of the Dead, Superbad, Hot Fuzz, the 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Role Models, Hot Rod (no seriously I love this one), Pootie Tang (yes, this too), Zoolander, and everyone else will surely have a few more to add. It's up there in terms of weird, goofy comedies.
posted by Hoopo at 4:00 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wet Hot American Summer, too.

Step Brothers is a lot better than I was expecting from "Will Ferrel shouts until it's funny." I wish he could do a comedy that expanded his range a little bit, though.
posted by codacorolla at 4:03 PM on July 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

The first two-thirds of Wedding Crashers.

If I have to pick one John C. Reilly comedy, I'm going with Walk Hard. One Will Ferrel comedy, Old School.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:06 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I saw Step Brothers but all I remember from it was the homemade bunk bed. Maybe I'll give it another look. Maybe.

Anyhow, Mean Girls ftw.
posted by Mchelly at 4:12 PM on July 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

The thing I remember about Step Brothers more than anything is how watching that and The Dark Knight in quick succession drove home the extent to which movies game MPAA ratings, because one of them felt like a PG-13 movie, and the other felt like an R movie. I just disagreed with the MPAA on which was which.
posted by ckape at 4:13 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

it's pretty quotable, too. "So much room for activities!" has been said a lot in our house since our child has reached toddledom.
posted by Hoopo at 4:21 PM on July 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

It's also a lot of fun to yell out "BOATS N HOES!" at wildly inappropriate times.
posted by KGMoney at 4:39 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hot Rod (no seriously I love this one)

My wife was from Atlanta, and after we got married we took a four-day drive up to Canada with her cats in a car -- a rented Impala -- stuffed to the gills with all her possessions.

The night of Day Two, we were at a Best Western in Pennsylvania, stressed out, thirsty (it turned out we had wound up in a dry county or something), and eating microwave Thai that we'd bought at a gas station because we just. did. not. want. to. drive.

We almost wound up watching a crap werewolf movie called Skinwalkers, flipping around the free movie channels in our hotel room, but I accidentally hit the channel change button just in time for Bill Hader to say "I AM GREEN WITH JEALOUS RAGE" and we both liked that single line so much we decided to see what the hell this weird thing was.

It is now just about our favourite comedy ever. If a week goes by without somebody in our apartment shouting "I'VE BEEN DRINKING GREEN TEA ALL GODDAMN DAY! YOU GONNA BRING THE DEMONS OUT OF ME?" it is a bad week.
posted by Shepherd at 4:49 PM on July 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Gah. I wanted to like this movie, but I found it tedious. Yes, parts of it were funny, but on the whole I was through with this movie well before it was actually over.

Now, get off of my lawn. Matlock is on TV.
posted by mosk at 5:37 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

>...looks more and more like the funniest movie of the 21st century

nah, that would be Crash. If only for that scene where it wins the Best Movie Oscar.
posted by philip-random at 5:47 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by scunning at 6:27 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I dont think any of the movies mentioned hold up as well as Zoolander does after 13 years. Certainly some of Old School and Forgetting Sarah Marshall are great, but only Zoolander manages to be as funny to 35 year old me as it was to 25 year old me.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:44 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh and Hot Rod? Yes!

posted by Literaryhero at 6:47 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by sara is disenchanted at 6:55 PM on July 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I think Zoolander would have to get my vote for best mainstream comedy post-2000. Only Talladega Nights and the first Hangover came close to making me laugh out loud all the way through.

Hot Fuzz is my personal favorite, but it's in a category of its own with the action/horror sendup elements.
posted by mannequito at 7:40 PM on July 24, 2014

Did you know that Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly sang the entire DVD commentary for this movie? It is ridiculous and magical.
posted by little mouth at 7:46 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love Step Brothers. I didn't think I would. I remember seeing the previews and thinking OK this is Will Ferrell playing the Ur-Will Ferrell character. Who cares? Anchorman was great, Talladega Nights was pretty good. But this?

Step Brothers seemed less ambitious. The movie wasn't "Will Ferrell as an newscaster" or "Will Ferrell as a NASCAR driver." It was just "Will Ferrell as Will Ferrell." The character he's always played, just stripped down to its core. It seemed like a quick cash in. I wasn't that interested.

But then I saw Step Brothers on a lazy Sunday afternoon and I loved it.

I was right. It was less ambitious than Anchorman or Talladega Nights. And it was Will Ferrell playing the most Will Ferrell character you can imagine. But it worked. The script moves along at a decent pace and allows Ferrell and John C. Reilly (who is also wonderful) enough time to do their manchild act without ever becoming grating.

"These guys are 40 years old but they act like 12 year-olds" sounds like a premise for a horrible movie starring Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider. But Stepbrothers is something better than that.

The supporting cast is also great. That's important, too.
posted by mcmile at 9:11 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Step Brothers also has Kathryn Hahn, who should be in everything. Everything.
posted by blueberry at 9:48 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm just going to throw this out there. Anchorman is a terrible steaming pile of turd of a movie. The moment anyone tells me they like Anchorman is the moment I start looking for a way out of the conversation.
posted by Literaryhero at 10:54 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I prefer comedies to have less off-the-cuff shouting and more jokes and wit. But my tolerance for man child stories is pretty low now after a decade full of them. Maybe I'll wait a while and revisit Step Brothers once the comedy trend shifts to something new?
posted by harriet vane at 11:59 PM on July 24, 2014

What no one ever addresses is how much that all sounds like a bunch of bullshit.

When I was a kid, I could not wait to be an adult. What seemed to be a bunch of bullshit, to me, was being a kid. I hated school. I hated being dependent on all these adults. I hated being small and puny and terrible at the sports which I was compelled to do anyway. I hated having no clout, no influence, no autonomy, no freedom, no pubic hair. I hated the endless humiliations, small and large. I really never experienced at all this sense that childhood was a wonderful thing whose passing ought to be a source of regret. For me it was a seemingly interminable grind of fear, bullying, weakness, nightmares and being told what to do. It felt like a prison term. I did not start to live until I left home to go to university, and I have never once looked back on childhood with anything but dimly-remembered horror and a blessed relief that it's long done with. It seems this is not normal. It seems there are quite a lot of ways in which I am not normal.
posted by Decani at 2:10 AM on July 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

The cafeteria salad bar at my job had salad dressings and condiments in the same place, with ketchup & mayonnaise next to each other. I snapped a picture to send to my old boss to demonstrate that my new job was so fancy, they had FANCY SAUCE.
posted by dr_dank at 4:11 AM on July 25, 2014

This is one of the few comedies since 2000 which is as funny the second time as it is the first. So much of the comedy scene this century has relied on outrageousness that it loses its power the second time around. I know I laughed harder during Super bad but for repeated viewing Stepbrothers has it beat. I'll agree with those who put Zoolander on top though!
posted by cell divide at 4:42 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just rewatched. Why is it at all the family dinners the step brothers are drinking some weird bright blue drinks? What is that stuff?
posted by Hoopo at 11:38 PM on July 25, 2014

Louise Gluck: Noon.
posted by Pudhoho at 12:36 AM on July 26, 2014

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