Movie review: 'The Brothers Solomon'

1 star (out of four)

The peals of silence destined to greet "The Brothers Solomon," the not-funniest comedy of the year so far, are doubly depressing because the film squanders several funny performers. My favorite is Kristen Wiig, the "Saturday Night Live" regular who was so good as the undermining E! Network lackey in "Knocked Up." Here she's stuck playing third banana to Will Arnett ("Arrested Development" and perhaps one too many voiceovers) and Will Forte, another "SNL" cast member and the "Solomon" screenwriter. The Wills play the socially maladroit brothers of the title, cockeyed optimists raised in an arctic science lab by a Grizzly Adams-type dad (Lee Majors). Dad slips into a coma just after expressing the wish for a grandson. The brothers take out an ad on Craigslist and find their surrogate $10,000 mother, played by Wiig.

Nothing is harder to overcome as a performer than a comedy going south. Director Bob Odenkirk lets every other exchange dribble on, suffocating on its own dead air and diorama staging. Arnett has done well in supporting roles (he was the evil rival skater in "Blades of Glory"), but he's exhausting here, geeking around with his scarifyingly whitened teeth like a stalker, even though he's meant to be Charming Down Deep. When Wiig's character decides to keep the baby, you're inevitably thrown into "Knocked Up" comparisons, which do "Solomon" no favors. This summer's previous "SNL" knockoff comedy, "Hot Rod," was a comic rocket compared to this mirth-free inertia.


'The Brothers Solomon'

Directed by Bob Odenkirk; screenplay by Will Forte; photographed by Tim Suhrstedt; music by John Swihart; edited by Tracy Wadmore-Smith; production design by John Paino; produced by Tom Werner and Matt Berenson. A Tri Star release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:31. MPAA rating: R (for language and sexual content).

John - Will Arnett

Dean - Will Forte

Janine - Kristen Wiig

James - Chi McBride

Ed - Lee Majors

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