Call Me Brother

Call Me Brother

Call Me Brother

David Howe

starring Christina Parrish, Andrew Dismukes, Asaf Ronen

You don’t get that many romantic incest comedies, but here you’ll find a good one so far as that might go. Lisa (Parish) and Tony (Dismukes) were the product of a failed marriage. They spent their childhoods apart but now on the edge of adulthood they meet again. The motivation is an unplanned and uncomfortable family reunion of sorts called by dad Frank (Ronen). He’s re-married I forget how many times, and the wife of the moment is Doris (Danu Uribe). This couple is hot and heavy, and you wouldn’t have to be in the movie house to mutter “get a room.” Bored, Tony and Lisa set out to explore this unfamiliar town while Doris and dad get busy. The town is pretty, and the weather perfect and as we roll along this pair develops a bond that’s still illegal in most states. The film is structured so you cheer the romance along, but it leaves enough inappropriateness lurking to make you more and more uncomfortable. Finally, it’s the kid’s mom who forces the issue; she returns for Rachel after a plot driven business trip and forces the kids to acknowledge the incumbent truth: they want to make out, right here in the front yard.

I’m torn here. The romance is cute, fun and well built. Tony and Lisa show a clear bond and you do cheer for them. But they are related, and the film only acknowledge the dilemma from a distance. And everybody here is perfectly clear on how they relate; we aren’t talking “separated at birth and meet by chance”. But if nothing else, this tension gives Call Me Brother a novelty and a unique motivation that most movie of this ilk ignore. And I liked everyone on screen: Frank and Doris show that middle age is not the end of a vigorous sex life, Lisa and her birth mom present an unpleasant but survivable family dynamic. Lisa and Tony look made for each other, decorated by her teenage gawkiness and his battle with zits. Give it a spin, there are plenty of funny moment, touching moments, and laugh out loud moments. But just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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