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[Short Reviews]


Contrary to what an audience of shrieking women might suggest, The Brothers isn’t just about strategic displays of rippling muscles, basketball, and booty. The men shriek too. Gary Hardwick’s directoral debut (from his own screenplay) toes the line between a madcap dirty Friday and a cheesy chick-flick Waiting To Exhale. Four close friends — all successful, black, professional men — have until now had more trouble plucking the ladies off their fine Italian threads than picking them up. But when one of them decides to get hitched, they make a pact to mature from the bro’s-before-’ho’s ethic to " love, happiness, and all that other shit. " If only it were so easy.

Sure, this is a formulaic romantic soap opera, but The Brothers is distinguished by its blend of insight, accountability, and dirty disses. It would be easy in a film like this to take cheap shots — at the women and the men. But no one gets off easy. Even little sister Cherie, played by sweet seductress Tatyana Ali, has a hilarious incriminating moment when the ladies converge over a bottle of champagne. Firecracker-sharp delivery by the quartet, two of whom are stand-up comedians (Bill Bellamy and D.L. Hughley), keeps The Brothers real and the audience rolling

By Nina Willdorf

Issue Date: March 22-29, 2001