The Brothers McMullen Movie Review
Jack (Jack Mulcahy), the only married brother, is tempted by another woman. Patrick (Mike McGlone) is torn between committing to his long-time girlfriend and striking out for something new. Barry (Edward Burns, who also wrote and directed), is the classic slacker, unable to even conceive of commitment and an unbeliever in the very notion of true love.
After the funeral of their abusive father, the trio's mother moves back to Ireland to be with her lover of 35 years ago. She leaves Barry with a singular warning, "Don't make the same mistake I did." That's all the encouragement he needs, as Barry becomes the devil on the shoulder of his brothers, trying with all his might to keep them away from the evils of commitment. For Patrick, a devout Catholic and complete neurotic, marriage is a necessity in living the good life, and Barry is no help at all. Jack's infidelity is another problem altogether. And as the brothers explore their own problems in the game of love and self-discovery, each eventually finds the answers.
This lighthearted romance masks the serious issues it addresses with heavy doses of nonstop humor in some of the funniest and most genuine dialogue to ever hit the screen. The perfect blend of seriousness and laughter, it's truly that perfect date movie you've been looking for.
While the film is very skewed toward Irish Catholic culture, we've all had these feelings, and newcomer Burns establishes himself as a true creative genius in American film. There's no slapstick here, just some excellent conversations about the meaning of life and happiness. You will not be able to stop laughing.
It's rare that a film has as profound an emotional impact as The Brothers McMullen, especially a comedy. But Burns has crafted such an incredible picture, that even the most crusty viewer will come out smiling. Highly recommended.