Fruit Punch

When Brian introduces his girlfriend to his millionaire brother, things get awkward fast.

Genre: Comedy

Length: 8:48

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Kevin Briot, Kyle Briot

Director/s : Kyle Briot, Kevin Briot

Writer/s : Kyle Briot, Kevin Briot

Actor/s : Nick Dale, Peter Spoelstra

 

Sibling rivalry

Brian’s a sad case. Not exactly a pizza-delivery boy, but only a couple of steps up: he’s the pizza joint manager. He’s taking his girlfriend to visit brother Jason and his new partner. Jason is everything Brian isn’t – rich, and confident to the point of arrogance.

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.

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