Father Figures movie poster
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Father Figures
Father Figures movie poster

Father Figures Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

There are simple truths in life, like for a comedy to be a comedy, it has to be funny. And yet time and time again, Hollywood seems content cranking out lazy films that appear to be comedies - starring comedic actors, based on a comedic concept - that simply don’t fulfill the basic requirements.

Take Father Figures, a “comedy” starring Ed Helms and Owen Wilson that’s about two brothers who set out to find their real dad after their mom reveals she was a bit carefree in the 70’s. It appears to be a comedy, but without the most important part of any comedy: humor.

Think Mamma Mia, only without the music, quality writing, or entertainment value.

Father Figures seems to think it’s so funny it doesn’t bother with any semblance of running jokes or even a sense of purpose. The humor relies almost exclusively on Helms and Wilson looking awkward when potential father figures explain how sex-crazy their mother was back in the day, which works once or twice but then there’s another hour and a half left in the movie and you’re sitting on the couch in your underwear wondering how did my life come to this? Terry Bradshaw is in the movie, too, but he’s much funnier (i.e. he’s funny) on Fox Sunday than when given a script--let alone a script that doesn’t tap into his inherit goofiness.

Father Figures is the kind of “comedy” you watch, grunt a laugh every once in a while, but then get halfway through and realize the movie is so flat you simply don’t care about anything, most notably who the dad actually is let alone the state of world affairs or starving children in Africa. Helms and WIlson try, at least a little bit, but as is often the case they are simply playing themselves, trapped by a dead-end script that doesn’t even fake that it gives a damn.

A few sporadic jokes hit home, at least ever so slightly (hence the “grunt a laugh every once in a while”), which saves the movie from being truly dreadful, but Father Figures is a dull, uninspired entity that is less a comedy than it is footage of Helms and Wilson saying stuff into a camera, straining for a reaction.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

D+
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