Father Figures Recap

Jamie

Peter and Kyle are as different as twins can be. Kyle is a fun loving free spirit, while Peter is a down-on-his-luck sad sack. When Peter finds out that the story about their dead father was all a lie, they set out in search of their real dad. Can they find their dad (and maybe get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Father Figures.

How?! Peter is a divorced doctor who laments how his life turned out. His kid hates him, he does rectal exams all day, and the highlight of his day is watching TV alone. It’s all made worse when at his mother’s wedding he is reminded about the carefree, fun lifestyle of his fraternal twin brother Kyle. The cherry on top is that at the same wedding he finds out the story about his dead dad was all a lie! The man very well could still be alive. With Peter’s world crumbling, Kyle agrees to set off and find their father. First stop, Terry Bradshaw (duh) playing himself and boy does he. He’s ready to accept them into the family until he realizes that while their mom was great in the sack, they weren’t together at the time of conception. Time to head off again. This time to confront Ronald Hunt. The loser criminal doesn’t seem like the best dad, but they still give him a shot. Unfortunately he gets them wrapped up in trying to steal a car. Oops. Time to give up, but while heading to the airport they pick up a hitchhiker who gets them lost in the middle of nowhere. While arguing about the state of things, they almost get killed by a train and realize that all they need is each other… and the magical hitchhiker. So with their new Enterprise Rent-a-car they head off to none other than Worcester, MA (!) where they’ve got a hot tip on another potential dad, Patrick O’Callahan. On the way, Peter has a one night stand with a woman who he is shocked to find was Patrick’s daughter! Uh oh! But Patrick’s twin brother insists it’s not true, because Patrick didn’t have sex before marriage. Instead it must have been Peter and Kyle’s family vet, Dr. Tinkler. They head home to confront him where their mother reveals the truth: they were adopted. She doesn’t know who their father is, but their mother was a young drug addict she was trying to help. Realizing that life is more about what you have and that they have each other, Peter and Kyle team up to start a new billion dollar app and everything is looking pretty good. THE END.

Why?! For a film with a scene of a kid peeing on Owen Wilson, Ed Helms thinking he had sex with his sister, and a weird (but kind of good (but also out of place)) satire of the magical black person trope, it’s a pretty heavy film. It’s very much about finding and understanding your purpose in life and not getting hung up or dwelling on what you’ve lost, what you thought you had, or what you want, but appreciating what you have. Particularly when it comes to family. Peter and Kyle didn’t choose their family, but they realize that their family actually did choose them, and that despite how different they are the love they have is stronger than those differences. It’s really nice… for a film that’s not super great.

Who?! This isn’t Terry Bradshaw’s first BMT rodeo. We know him best from Failure to Launch, and that honestly was a better effort considering he wasn’t just playing a cartoon version of himself. Then there was The Cannonball Run where he played *check notes* Terry… huh… guess I’m not sure whether he was playing himself in that one.

What?! This is actually one of my favorite subtle product placements in recent memory. Peter and Kyle get their rental car destroyed by a train and we see them talking to a man delivering a new one and are all like “that’s for delivering the new rental car.” And I’m like “Ha, Enterprise up in here.” And then in the credits we see under special thanks: Enterprise. Even if you totally explode your car with a train, Enterprise will still deliver a new one.

Where?! Nice solid road trip film starting in Ohio and then going to Florida, New York, and Massachusetts. Finishing with a taste of Hawaii is also perfect. I also can’t really get over that they very specifically head to my old stomping grounds, Worcester, MA. Although I didn’t recognize where they went, so not sure they actually filmed there. B+.

When?! I do not know when exactly this took place. My guess is that it’s early Fall given the wedding setting, the changing leaves in New York, and shift towards sweaters as they journeyed north… yes, I’m insane. My guess is that if we really poured through all the footage we’d find something. Maybe the prop Enterprise Rent-a-car rental agreement has a date on it. F.

To me this seemed like a film that was written by three different people. Or perhaps even existed as three scripts before being merged together. It’s very surprising that there is just one writer considering how quickly and often they vacillate between comedy styles. You’ve got an indie Jeff Who Lives at Home vibe going on, then the next second it feels like Harold and Kumar, and then the next second it’s like Wedding Crashers. It just never seemed like they knew exactly what they wanted to make. As a result even something that could be good, like what I take as satire of the “magical black person” cliche, can get lost and confused in the muddle of everything. But I can’t say the underlying message wasn’t touching, it’s just the journey to get there didn’t come together well at all. As for Twin Sitters, I couldn’t have been more tickled by the bizarre Paul twins and their twin extravaganza of a film. Twins everywhere and they are just muscley freaks of nature with fashion for days. I disagree with Patrick a bit, much better than Santa with Muscles and for one main reason: I kinda liked that the Paul twins weren’t afraid to play stupid. Big muscle guys seem to shy away from that (Hulk Hogan being a prime example). They always want to be big brain business people or scientists. Wrong! Give me some twin dum dums! I love it. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Ugh, fraternal twins. Whatever, I guess we had to watch a film with fraternal twins eventually. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The film has been on our radar for a long while, but for an odd reason: it might have one of the best examples of a terrible movie poster ever! Just look at all of those faces staring out at you from a snow white background. Really just useless garbage. Anyways, modern bad comedies tend to just be boring and no fun, and I doubt this would be any different. It can’t help but end up being wholesome in the end. That fact that it has bad reviews suggests it is boring. What were my expectations? To be bored and to laugh zero times.

The Good – Funnier than I expected, and that is entirely due to Owen Wilson. Something about his exudes charm, and while he is leaning into his vague surfer/stoner hippy schtick in the film, it ends up working (except when they make him anxious and sad in the middle of the film). I think his performance, plus a surprisingly surprising twist involving Katie Aselton, end up saving the back half of the film. Oh and out of nowhere I really liked the diversion involving Katt Williams’ hitchhiker character. There is a weird amount of stuff to like for a film that is really not very interesting. Oh and I secretly liked the silly connections drawn to The World According to Garp right at the end. Best Bit: Owen Wilson.

The Bad – It is indeed pretty not funny and boring, especially the first half of the film. I didn’t really like Ed Helms’ character who was so depressing that he had to end up with a happy ending because it was literally impossible to make him sadder at the end of the film. Terry Bradshaw was awful in the film, and surprisingly so was J.K. Simmons. The entire film felt inevitable. If you could start the film with a better first father than Bradshaw, and then flow right into them being depressed about a near miss there with the Katt Williams hitchhiker character, and skip the middle bit, I think the film ends up much better. Considering it is far too long for a comedy, I’m surprised they didn’t try and reedit it into a leaner film. Fatal Flaw: Trite.

The BMT – I think the only thing this film will be notable for in terms of BMT in the future is that terrible poster. It’ll be the poster child (heyooooo) for “throw a bunch of faces on a white piece of paper and call it a day” style of modern movie posters. Otherwise it might be a small stop on the Owen Wilson bad movie filmography,twin films (fraternal or not), and road trip films maybe. I will probably never watch this film ever again. Did it meet my expectations? It exceeded them, but in the wrong direction, it was too good. It had a few solid laughs, and the back half was too interesting to be boring.

Roast-radamus – A solid Product Placement (What?) with Dunkin’ Donuts. Turns out both America and existential-journeys-to-find-your-father run on Dunkin’. A great Road Trip (Where?) film covering Ohio, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts, including a ton of driving (and presumably stops at Dunkin’). I do think we have a MacGuffin (Why?) for the search for the ultimate MacGuffin: Dad (awwwwwwwww). I don’t think any of the twists are bad unfortunately. I think this is closest to Good personally. I couldn’t help but be touched by the message being presented, and Wilson was solid.

StreetCreditReport.com – I was looking through all the lists and mainly marvelling that I’ve seen probably a solid 50% of the worst films of 2017 on any given list. That’s pretty impressive given the sometimes random choices some of these lists make (The Only Living Boy in New York is on the AV Club list and Transformers 5 isn’t … what?). Usually I’d say something like “I’m not shocked this film went under the radar” … but I am legitimately shocked that this film wasn’t on any list! And then I realized why, it was a Christmas film! Ah, well rest assured this had cred galore. I think it would have easily made most top 10 lists for the year, and is definitely the worst twin film of 2017. And this is coming from someone who kind of liked the film!

Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we brought along another twin-based comedy in Twin Sitters. What a wild career Peter and David Paul had. Twin bodybuilders, they managed to star in four films. The last few are a lot like this where the twins straight up say “we’re big dumb brutes.” What a strange idea of a career, playing character that are almost too dumb to function but big and strong. And the entire film is very twin-centric with the twins baby-sitting another set of twins! The child twins are actually the actors who played the lead child role in Kindergarten Cop which is pretty fun. The entire film is really silly, directed by the actor who played the bad guy’s son in UHF (and Jambi in Peewee’s Playhouse) who also appears in the film. It really is just so dumb it is hard to articulate coherent feelings on. I guess the most interesting thing was the end is a lot like 3 Ninjas with a group of bad guys attempting to infiltrate the house to kidnap the children, and the Paul twins fighting them with household objects. Where did that cinematic trope originate? Looney Tunes? Are the Paul twins just big cartoon characters? Anyways, I bet there are better Barbarian Twin films out there. If I’m being honest, this just feels like a weird knockoff of other films. It feels like Santa With Muscles, so C-, wouldn’t really recommend it unless you are watching all of the Paul twin films or something.

Twin Analysis – I’m going to tell it like it is: fraternal twins start at a C. Sorry, not sorry, it is just the way it is. They might as well be brothers. Anyways, I did like the Polar Opposite Twin trope, that’s a classic. With Helms being an uptight doctor, and Wilson being a very laidback loser who fell ass backwards into money. The twin angle plays a decent sized role in the film as well. Lucky for the film there is an identical twin in the film (one of the potential fathers is an identical twin), and a set of twins at the end. Three twins!! I’m going to give it a B. Much better than I expected. Now, on the other hand we have Twin Sitters! My god, has there ever been a more twin film in the history of twin films. And another fortuitous connection, despite Peter and David Paul being very identical, they also play into the Polar Opposite Twin trope. Now that’s fun! There are, I think, five sets of identical twins in the film (and a set of identical triplets!). I was hoping the bad guy would have also turned out to be a twin, but alas, it was not meant to be. Regardless, I’m going to give this the true A+. They might not be stigmata twins, but this film has so many twins, and the idea of twins, and standing by your twin brother, and twin dynamics, and magical twin abilities … it has it all (as far as twins are concerned)!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs