The Do-Deca Pentathlon: Sibling Rivalry Carried to a Ridiculous Degree

Those alarmingly prolific Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay, are back with another tale of sibling rivalry, close on the heels of Jeff, Who Lives at Home. (When will they make a movie about rivalrous sisters?) Here, Steve Zissis and Mark Kelly play two soft-bellied bros in their unhappy 30s. One's married and a father, the other's a poker-playing black sheep. All convene at Mom's house for a weekend birthday gathering, where the brothers resurrect a 25-event contest that ended in a bitter tie when they were teens. Ping-pong, laser tag, bumper cars, mini-golf, and holding one's breath underwater are among the categories on a contract they solemnly sign, wherein the winner shall be declared "the better brother for eternity." All the while, mother, wife, and son must be kept in the dark about the contest (though they eventually catch on). Do-Deca apparently sat on the shelf for a while after Baghead, but it's a better, funnier, but still awkward film (that's a compliment)—and an advance beyond mumblecore. Still, it's not so good as the Duplass brothers' subsequent Jeff or Cyrus, which had scripts and character development to fit their run times. Do-Deca is more a comic sketch extended to 80 minutes when 30 would've sufficed. But it does contain a fundamental truth about at least some brothers: "We have fun by beating the shit out of each other."

 
comments powered by Disqus