The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Film: The Overbrook Brothers

Sibling rivalry comedy mines subtle laughs

By Wayne Alan Brenner, March 20, 2009, Screens

This first feature-length film from writer and director John Bryant is a comedy co-written with Jason Foxworth, about the relationship that joins and divides two brothers, with the humor flowing naturally from character interaction and the situations that result. Or, rather, the situations that brother Todd (a relentlessly conniving prick, played note-perfect by Reeb) visits upon quieter brother Jason (Harlan) as they road-trip their sibling rivalry across the country to Austin on a quest that it would be a spoiler to reveal the purpose of. The entire movie reeks of guy – even the first part, before Todd's girlfriend Shelly (Whitsett) wisely ditches them – but it's a reek rendered appealing by the wealth of well-played relational minutiae. Rather than constantly mugging for laughs, Bryant's more concerned with telling a story about real people in a passionate situation where some truly fucked-up shit happens – shit that (if it's not happening to you at the time) is very funny indeed.

The Overbrook Brothers

Narrative Feature, Narrative Competition
D: John Bryant; with Mark Reeb, Nathan Harlan, Laurel Whitsett

Saturday, March 21, 10pm, Paramount

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