When Brian introduces his girlfriend to his millionaire brother, things get awkward fast.
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Producer/s : Kevin Briot, Kyle Briot
Director/s : Kyle Briot, Kevin Briot
Writer/s : Kyle Briot, Kevin Briot
Actor/s : Nick Dale, Peter Spoelstra
Unfortunately, Jason’s old habits die hard, and he can’t stop needling and embarrassing his poor younger brother. Ever pooped yourself as a kid? In the barbershop? Ever been reminded about it in front of your girlfriend?
The comedy centres on how long Brian’s innate decency (read, need to avoid conflict) can hold out against his brother’s escalating “hey, it’s only a joke” bullying.
The writing/directing team, twins Kyle and Kevin Briot, start it off well, with ironies emerging as one couples’ chat in the car is counterpointed with the other pair’s conflab in their hall. Conflict builds as it should, and the script lands some great gags, not to mention punches. A running joke with apples is expertly topped (to use comedy writer jargon) at the end.
Nick Dale as Jason drives the piece with extrovert comic touch. If there’s a problem it’s that Jason is just too unremittingly rude to stay this side of realism. Some might enjoy his callousness, but for me, if a script crosses a line, the comedy becomes cartoonish, and loses its sharp edge. Central characters can be unlikeable, such as Rik in The Young Ones, David Brent, or Malcom Tucker. But a comedy of manners isn’t the place for a boorish pantomime villain. Maybe this is one to view with friends, and several beers.
That said, Fruit Punch is the Briot brothers’ first film together, and it shows promise. Just hope Brian and Jason are in no way autobiographical.