Comedies Have Messages Too

27 Jan

By: Tim Byerly

Step Brothers is a movie that is extremely undervalued due to its pop culture characteristics. It’s widely known as one of Will Ferrell’s finest comedies as he deals with his new step brother, Dale, while they move in and live together with their newly married parents (who were previously divorced). They both are 40 years old living with their parents, yet they act as juveniles. With that being said, all of the glory of this film comes from their obvious immaturity, yet there is more to be valued than just the outrageous, crude humor that more viewers need to be able to see. This movie possesses real life problems that are present now more than ever before: marital problems, blended families, and children and their elongated dependency on their parents.

With a deeper look into Step Brothers, one can see that producer is portraying the whole idea of the increase in marital problems in America. The producer seems to convey that with an increase in marital problems it will lead to a divorce (like Brennan and Dale’s mom and dad before they got married). A perfect example in the film that deals with marital problems is Brennan’s sister-in-law Alice. She is unhappy and unsatisfied with her marriage with Derek (Brennan’s biological brother), and one can argue that she married Derek for the wrong reasons, most evidently for money. This is a great lesson to teach viewers not to be “gold diggers” or simply not to marry for wrong reasons.

On another note, it’s considerably difficult for children to begin the blending process of a “new” family and to be comfortable living with their new step brother and/or sister, especially the older the children are. In the film, Brennan and Dale constantly fight, whine, and do childish things (at the age of 40 keep in mind). These types of events continue all throughout the movie; however, the same concept is still there involving the troublesome of divorce leading to dysfunctional family blending and combination.

The childish actions by step brothers Brennan and Dale demonstrate the next real life problem present in the movie that is overshadowed by all of the humor. Nowadays, it seems as if kids are becoming more dependent on their parents than in previous years. It is custom for a teenager to turn 18 and move out of the house to begin their individual life. That is not the case in Step Brothers. Brennan and Dale are both 40 years old and living with their parents and unemployed. Perhaps director Adam McKay is trying to convey to this pop culture world that parents need to “cut the umbilical cord” sooner rather than later for the child’s well-being in the future. Parents need to stop babying their children and make them go out, get a job, and get prepared for the real world for when their mommy and daddy are no longer around.

Movies with never-ending humor are great and entertaining, I assure you of that. However, oftentimes humor can cause viewers to stray from themes intended, or even unintended, by the producer. Step Brothers is a great representation of how elementary themes can be found within the most absurd comedies. However these themes can be lost with an excessive amount of humor. This goes to show that one can learn valuable lessons from pop culture movies with a deeper look into the movie.


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