‘Flock of Dudes’ is a Well-Worn Tale of Bros That Gotta Grow

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Flock of Dudes

Flock of Dudes is the latest in the emerging subgenre of bro comedies that feature middle aged men shunning their life of prolonged adolescence in search of adulthood. Despite a few comical moments and a number of incredibly talented comedians, Flock of Dudes feels incredibly well-worn, lacking surprises as its story is seems more than comfortable wallowing in the most basic aspects of its premise.

When we first meet Adam (Chris D’Elia) he’s out on the town with his close knit group of bros – his brother David (Skylar Astin), Howie (Brett Gelman), Mook (Eric André), and Barrett (Bryan Greenberg). Though it’s the anniversary of his union with his girlfriend Katherine (Jamie Chung), Adam goes on a lengthy pub crawl with his boys, arriving drunk and late to dinner with Katherine and her parents. This, of course, marks the end of their relationship. In the months that pass, Adam and his crew continue their debauched ways, excessively drinking and smoking weed in their ramshackle house in Los Angeles. Katherine has moved on and started dating Mario Lopez (playing himself), formerly of Saved by the Bell fame, and David is now engaged to Amanda (Hilary Duff). Meanwhile, Adam still toils away at his job as a PR rep for a lacrosse league, spending his days crushing on his co-worker Beth (Hannah Simone). When their after party at their house following a Halloween party gets them evicted, Adam seems to have had enough of this arrested development, and proceeds to break up with his group of friends. David lays down a series of rules for this break up between bros, one that hopes to facilitate everyone, but especially Adam, on the path to maturity.

Despite committed performances from its talented cast, the script for Flock of Dudes by Brian Levin, Jason Zumwalt, and director Bob Castrone doesn’t seem to take its characters very far. The personal crisis Adam finds himself embroiled in is resolved in a strikingly obvious manner, one that never has the viewer in even the slightest moment of doubt. Chris D’Elia does an admirable job with the varied moments of exacerbation that his character is feeling throughout, but the staleness of the situations overwhelm everything the characters are going through. There’s also the bewildering manner with which characters seems to be injected into the story for no other reason than the fact that talented actors were available and willing to participate – characters played by Hannibal Buress, Kumail Nanjiani, Timothy Simmons, and Ray Liotta don’t factor much into the story, but appear randomly throughout.

The dudes of Flock of Dudes have few interests – namely fantasy sports, which every character has a robust obsession with. The amount of dialogue spent on fantasy sports in this movie is just a point that’s hammered over and over yet never seems to translate into anything resembling relatable behavior. The same is true with these characters’ predilection for dressing up in elaborate costumes, a trend that doesn’t end at the film’s Halloween sequences. There’s a real sense that these are forced elements of quirkiness meant to distract the viewer away from the rather rote story of growing (or broing) up.

There are minor chuckles to be had in Flock of Dudes, and the energy from D’Elia, Gelman and André liven up the most rote aspects. But the direction of Bob Castrone leaves quite a bit to be desired, as the film has a garish quality that makes it resemble more of a single camera comedy show on television than a cinematic comedy. Of course there are obviously budgetary limitations with this project, but there’s a lacking sense of visual style that works in underwhelming unison with the unimaginative story.

Flock of Dudes isn’t reprehensible or abjectly terrible, but there isn’t anything in its 100 minutes to make it stand out from countless other comedies traversing the same path. The ratio of genuine laughs to modest chuckles is an imbalance from which it never recovers. Flock of Dudes would’ve greatly helped it didn’t try to consistently have it both ways – wanting its characters to revel in immaturity before having each and every one of them come to the realization that it was well past time to grow up. This is a movie that disappoints because its cast is really giving it their all, but the script isn’t on the same level as their performances – perhaps it just need a little more time to grow up.

Flock of Dudes
  • Overall Score
2.5

Summary

Flock of Dudes features a talented comedic cast led by Chris D’Elia giving committed performances, but its story of dudes in prolonged adolescence only to grow up is so well-worn and lacking in originality.

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