Sony's December '07 Releases
The Brothers Solomon (December 4/07)
Extremely silly and relentlessly juvenile, The Brothers Solomon undoubtedly benefits from the inclusion of several genuinely funny whacked-out bits of comedy - with the end result an uneven piece of work that nevertheless possesses all the markings of a cult favorite. The story follows moronic brothers John and Dean Solomon (Will Arnett and Will Forte) as they embark on a quest to sire an offspring after their father slips into a coma; wackiness ensues as the pair systematically alienate a series of women, though the siblings eventually do find a willing participant in the guise of Kristen Wiig's Janine. The Brothers Solomon's emphasis on the exceedingly dim-witted hijinks of the title characters ensures that comparisons to Dumb and Dumber are inevitable, though there's little doubt that the film never quite achieves the hilarity of that Farrelly brothers classic. Forte's off-the-wall screenplay is nicely complemented by Bob Odenkirk's '80s-inspired directorial choices, with a slow-motion shot set to John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" certainly one of the film's more random (yet undeniably hilarious) moments. The expectedly sentimental third act does temporarily put a damper on things, admittedly, and one can't help but lament the entirely needless presence of a fake break-up between John and Dean (it's short lived, at least). Still, there's an affable, light-hearted vibe to The Brothers Solomon that proves impossible to resist - with the appealing work by Forte and Arnett undoubtedly pulling the film through its slow spots.
A Perfect Day (December 9/07)
Based on the book by Richard Paul Evans, A Perfect Day casts Rob Lowe as Robert Harlin - a struggling author whose ditch-digging days come to an end after he successfully lands an agent (Frances Conroy's Camile) and a lucrative publishing contract. It doesn't take long for fame and fortune to go to Robert's head, however, as he begins choosing promotional events over his wife (Paget Brewster's Allyson) and daughter (Meggie Geisland's Carson). Christopher Lloyd co-stars as a mysterious stranger who slowly but surely works his way into Robert's life, and eventually warns him that he has only 40 days left to live. While A Perfect Day does boast an engaging first act that succeeds purely on the level of wish fulfillment (ie it's difficult not to root for Robert's success), there comes a point at which the film's emphasis on sentimental and downright heavy-handed elements becomes overwhelming. The total lack of subtlety within Joyce Eliason's adaptation lends the proceedings an eye-rollingly silly sort of vibe, with the movie's various problems exacerbated by Robert's ludicrous transformation from affable family man to unreasonably obnoxious douchebag (ie he patronizes his wife and dumps his loyal agent). Brewster and Lloyd's strong work notwithstanding, A Perfect Day is the kind of made-for-television movie that one dreads - though there's little doubt that the majority of similarly-themed flicks are nowhere nearly as simple-minded as this.