Flock Of Dudes is a star-studded bromance dissection about becoming one with maturity, yet Bob Castrone’s film lacks the same motivations that its characters lazily ignore. A who’s who of almost A-list comedians float through a vague, generic period of rediscovery without ever making good on their thematic promises. Comedics flounder, drama dissipates and relationships aimlessly shamble on for far too long, until Castrone’s reformed herd of drunken steers shuffles towards an expected finality. Scot Armstrong’s Search Party went the bromigo route earlier this year, and while Castrone’s film is admittedly more stable, at lest Armstrong swung for the fences. Only Eric André delivers as expected here, while a host of other extremely funny comedians play drab, unfunny versions of themselves – because this is a serious movie, dammit!
Stand-up veteran Chris D’Elia stars as Adam, a party-loving bachelor who lives with his three best friends (Eric André, Bryan Greenberg and Brett Gelman). Their house is a dump, and almost every activity they do together involves getting blackout drunk. Sounds like the life, right? Adam would think so, until the stench of stagnation starts to become stronger and stronger. Eventually, Adam decides it’s time to put his life together, but the only way to do so is to “break up” with his buds. It won’t be easy, which is why Adam’s brother (David, played by Skylar Astin) drafts up a list of rules for the guys to follow. Hopefully, their next encounter will be full of banter about all the accomplishments they’ve achieved – unless Adam reverts back to his immature ways.
For a film about bro-love, it’s the ladies who score more laughs in Flock Of Dudes. Melissa Rauch nails the part of clueless, over-obsessive dater/mouse-y secretary, Hilary Duff goes all Bridezilla-ish and no one steals a scene like Kelen Coleman’s hyper-sexual actress. Her screen time isn’t super long, but between Coleman’s nuclear meltdown during a date with D’Elia and their insane sexual encounter later (a tiger tattoo, talk of peeing, pornographic references), Coleman draws laughs with awkwardness and ease. She’s the one-night stand from Hell you can’t help but love – only because you’re watching from afar.
Unfortunately, D’Elia’s band of merry assholes are the focus here, and they’re never given the material to shine. D’Elia himself drifts through the motions of a mid-life crisis, but without many downfalls or high-stakes hardships. Adam goes from living a dazed party life to bunking with his brother in a gorgeous house, becomes an overnight sports blogging sensation because of a few article posts, and finds the love of his life simply by putting an end to late-night drinking. Adam never truly experiences any lows, nor does his trajectory ever encounter any permitted craziness besides his fling with Krista (Coleman’s sex kitten). Everything is so disparagingly tame for the talents involved, lacking the emotional investment to chart an individualistic path for Flock Of Dudes.
The same rings true for D’Elia’s supporting cast, who aren’t given much to work with by way of humor or revelations. Eric André is the only performer whose personality seems untouched and not forced, mainly because his natural unpredictability lends itself to standout jokes. That’s who André is, and no one will ever contain him. Meanwhile, Greenberg and Gelman play opposite-spectrum stereotypes of scared, irresponsible man-children who are caught in the same listless arc D’Elia’s Adam portrays. The promise of Marc Maron and Hannibal Buress equates to silly one-off cameos, even worse than Jeff Ross’ uplifting monologue while wanking off in public (a message about how being “free” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be). I must ask, why enlist such hot comedians and then handcuff their signature styles?
You’ll laugh at Flock Of Dudes, but not with the vigor you’d hope. You’ll relate to Chris D’Elia’s go-with-the-flow lifestyle, but not in a way that’ll have you clamoring for big changes. Unfortunately, Bob Castrone’s warning about a life not embraced is copied and pasted from so many similar genre stories before, without much redressing by way of character or details. It might be simple and cute enough for those who are easy to please, but even D’Elia’s most diehard fans will have a hard time appreciating one of his more dramatic turns – mainly because there’s just not that much drama to be found.
Flock Of Dudes is light on both bro-bonding shenanigans and worldly drama, despite boasting such an enviable cast of comedians.