Review: Flock of Dudes
PLOT: Four best friends in their thirties decide to “break up” in order to face their ultimate fear of getting older.
REVIEW: Growing up is becoming increasingly difficult for a lot of men. In an age where many of us still collect superhero figures or still go out and party with friends, age has truly become nothing but a number. That is the appeal of Bob Castrone’s romantic comedy FLOCK OF DUDES. Yet this is not simply a guy and girl who may or may not end up together, this is a how old friends deal with their own ever-changing world. It’s a funny film that, while the jokes can get dirty, is not the typical R-rated comedy that we usually see as of late. This is a human story that also features a surprisingly terrific lead courtesy of actor/comedian Chris D’Elia as a man trying to figure out life after thirty.
Adam (D’Elia), Barrett (Bryan Greenberg), Howie (Brett Gelman) and Mook (Eric André) have been friends since college. After a fateful night of drinking, Adam shows up drunk to meet his girlfriend Katherine (Jamie Chung) and her parents for an all important introduction dinner. Thus, the relationship comes crashing down. Two years later, the four buddies who all live together find themselves facing adulthood, as well as eviction from their apartment. That is when Adam’s reliable younger brother David (Skylar Astin) dares the boys to “break up” and look for new things in their lives. Once they do, Adam realizes that he must make some serious changes to truly be happy.
The opening sequence where we meet the characters didn’t hit me. In fact, it looked as if we’d be possibly getting another cheap gross out comedy. Thankfully, the story is simply growing up. The humor is grounded, if occasionally profane, and you may be able to relate to one or all of them. The foursome are all entertaining, yet it is D’Elia who is the one to watch. The comedienne/actor is incredibly natural and charismatic. For all his faults, you can’t help but connect with his frustrations and fears. While this is a large cast, if he hadn’t been able to pull it off this would have been a failure. He did, and it is clear that Chris can carry a film.
With a huge focus on the four friends, it only gets better when Adam’s pretty co-worker Beth (Hannah Simone) shows up. Essentially this is two love stories in one. You have a possible blossoming romance between Adam and Beth, and you have the deep rooted bromance of the four friends. The camaraderie between the buddies is nice, but the sparks really fly with both D’Elia and Simone. She is an absolute delight, which she continuously proved on the series New Girl. However, her work here reminds the viewer that she is more than capable of headlining her own series or in this case, feature film.
Speaking of the cast, there are a lot of funny people here. You have Kumail Nanjiani, Hannibal Buress, Melissa Rauch and Jeffrey Ross - one of the creepiest cameos ever - and even Jamie Chung, Mario Lopez and Hilary Duff, all of the side characters add a lot of charm. Ray Liotta shows up for a bit in one of the most bizarre cameos ever, and one that wasn’t quite necessary, and perhaps a little disconcerting. Even still, it’s always fun to see Liotta on screen. This is quite the collection of funny people, all of whom are able to keep this as a more personal, and dare I say insightful, comedy about getting older.
FLOCK OF DUDES may not be a masterpiece, but there is much to enjoy. It’s an insightful and occasionally sweet tale that is worth checking out. The cast is great, but it is D’Elia and Simone who prove to be able to carry a feature film remarkably well. If you enjoy this cast, you will at worst be entertained. Castrone has made an adult comedy that doesn’t need to stoop to gross out humor. It may not be constantly laugh out loud, fall down of the floor hilarity, but it will bring a smile to your face. This is a refreshingly mature comedy about folks who aren’t very mature, but discover that it may not be a bad thing to do a little growing after all.