Movie Review: An odder, less funny “Odd Couple” — “Bromates”

The opening narration to “Bromates” — a lifeless and almost laughless laugher about two jilted-by-their-girlfriends dudes who move in together — raises expectations that the movie never delivers on. Because Snoop Dogg performs it.

He shows up onscreen, as himself, very late in the picture, in a self-mocking turn that’s almost funny. And one cannot help but notice how that’s what the film hasn’t been for all of the preceding 90 minutes — “almost funny.” It rarely even comes close.

Nebbishy Josh Brener, best known as a high-pitched voice actor on a lot of TV animation, is Sid, living his best life as a Texas solar panel salesman, something a prologue suggests he was destined to do even as a kid. He was probably destined to hook up with an “influencer” (Jessica Lowe) who walks all over him, and even cheats with the Bavarian puppeteer who lives next door.

Hollywood’s go-to funny man for “sidekick” roles, Lil Rel Howery ,co-stars here as Jonesie, a horndog whose “testing our new sex swing” bit with a stripper sends his girlfriend packing.

Both single again? They should save some money and move in together. Not as “roommates” or some sort of “Odd Couple,” but as “Bromates.”

Poor Lil Rel has to use the word repeatedly in this lumbering, heavy-handed script that can’t manage a laugh to save it’s arse. “As your bromate…It’s my bromate right,” etc.

When Jonesie gets over his obsession, he and their other childhood pals — gay “Runway Dave” (Brendan Scanell) and anger-management cell-phone store operator Angry Mike (Asif Ali) — stage something like an intervention.

Their “hangover” romp never romps, even though it takes them to a Texas “Redneck Festival,” where Darlene the Ferret Trainer (Taryn Manning) might be the sure thing Sid needs to get out of his funk.

The almost-laughs are sprinkled all over this dog like dandruff — Jonesie noting the generally aged folks who join Sid’s misnamed lost-a-lover grief support group.

“What in the mothballs and All-Bran is going on here?”

A good way for bros to kick back and relax? Drinks in a kiddie ball pit.

“Pedos! Pedos!” the merry but “triggered” children shout.

Runway Dave’s eyes bug out at the portly, hairy men who populate any given redneck revel.

“I’ve died and gone to ‘bear’ heaven!”

Snoop shows up and we almost get a laugh. But that’s far too little and entirely too late to give “Bromates” a chance.

Rating:  R for crude and sexual content, language throughout and some drug use.

Cast: Lil Rel Howery, Josh Brener, Brendan Scanell, Asif Ali, Taryn Manning, Jessica Lowe, Rob Riggle, Marla Gibbs and Snoop Dogg as himself.

Credits: Directed by Court Crandall, scripted by Chris Kemper and Court Crandall. A Quiver release.

Running time: 1:38

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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