Father Figures Blu-ray Review
There’s an interesting piece of trivia concerning FATHER FIGURES. According to IMDB.com (so take this with a grain of salt since I’ve found a lot of their trivia to be false or out of date) the script was sold in 36 hours. That’s not a record, but that’s an incredibly quick turnaround for Hollywood, which generally drags its feet on original content. I find this interesting because nothing that I watched in this movie instantly screams, “Buy me and make me now.”
There’s nothing unique about the plot to begin with. Fraternal twin brothers, Peter (Helms) and Kyle (Wilson), have recently learned that their father is alive. For decades, their mother, Helen (Close), has told them that he passed away before their birth. Despite this new tidbit of information, Helen doesn’t actually know who the father is because of her “adventurous” days before the birth of her sons. So with breadcrumbs for clues, Peter and Kyle hit the road in an attempt to find their father.
One of my first complaints about this movie is the treatment of Helen by the script. Not only is she immediately slut shamed by her son Peter, for being promiscuous, but she’s almost immediately fetishized by the men who recall their days with her. It’s played for laughs, but it’s a little abhorrent for the men, especially about women in their past, to immediately regurgitate fond sexual memories to two strangers who are asking if they know her.
As for the actual laughs throughout most of the film, they rarely, if ever, happen. At nearly two hours, the film should have a Judd Apatow approach with rapid fire one liners and gags. The misadventures that Peter and Kyle experience are dragged out to ad nauseum. Cheech and Chong side quests seemed more relevant to their nonsensical plot than the tangents FATHER FIGURES find itself taking. Even the moment where the two pick up a hitchhiker, should be ripe with laughter, but instead they only picked the rotten apples from the tree.
In terms of comedy, this movie is a disaster. But there are elements of it that surprisingly do work. The bonding that the two brothers go through is mildly interesting and kind of heart felt. Peter is divorced, in a lackluster job, and has a son that hates him. He’s envious of his brother who’s unintentionally wealthy, has a gorgeous wife and is expecting his first child. Kyle’s qualms with Peter are that they never really had a solid brotherly relationship and that he almost wishes for the low-key life Peter lives. It’s not the best material for the predictable reconciliation, but it stops the middle of the film from sagging.
FATHER FIGURES is a bad holiday comedy (like WHY HIM? only a year earlier) that tries to mix in elements of Duplass brother family drama films. First time director Lawrence Sher may have an impressive resume as cinematographer on much better comedies, but it’s hard to do anything with a script where Wilson urinates on a child or Helms yells at his mom for having unprotected sex. If you haven’t heard about FATHER FIGURES until this review, there’s a good reason. It’s a bad film.
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 2:39:1) I never really pay attention to the visuals of a comedy, but everything was in focus and there were no problems with the blu-ray’s presentation.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Just like the video, no problems with the audio.
Deleted Scenes (21:09): There are 10 scenes that play as one lump sum, without the possibility of individually selecting them. The fact that there was fat to trim from the bloat of this film is impressive. As you may have guessed, none of these scenes add any creative sustenance or comedy to the film.
Gag Reel (4:26): I may have smiled more during this than I did the entire film.