BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
SEPTEMBER 15, 2013
Embracing the nature of sibling rivalry and a desire to return to the familiar, The Duplass Brothers bring a dark comedy that lives and breathes reality with every passing event. Steve Zissis and Mark Kelly play brothers Mark and Jeremy who haven’t communicated most of their lives but meet up one weekend when Mark and his wife and son visit their mother for his birthday weekend. With Mark stressed out and on medication, everyone sees Jeremy’s presence as a bad thing. However, when he pitches the self-titled, made-up Do-Deca Pentathlon to Mark, which they did as kids with no clear winner, Mark is determined to beat his brother. At any cost necessary, he lies to his family, misses his birthday party, and causes multiple scenes.
As much as the stakes are a little melodramatic at times, the comedy is there. With believable performances from Zissis and Kelly, the film stays on track for most of its run. Unclear as to the actual motives of the wife, Stephanie (Jennifer Lafleur), and her instant hatred for the competition, her part in the film feels derivative, a hindrance for the sake of obstacle. “The Do-Deca-Pentathlon” screams the styling of the Duplass Brothers and continues their recent run with available, dark comedies. Still surprising that Jay and Mark did not star in the film, you have to wonder how much of this is autobiographical between the two.
July 6, 2012