The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (2012)
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Critic Reviews for The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
So much of this oddly named but perfectly played dramedy feels real, from the revisits to VHS tapes in parents' basements to the way a family member's glance can trigger fight-or-flight responses.
Although it assumes a light, inoffensive tone, Do Deca is unquestionably the brothers' most personal film by virtue of its antiheroes, a pair of warring siblings seemingly inspired by the directors themselves.
The performances, especially by Zissis and Lafleur, are effectively low-key, making their characters' occasional emotional outburst all the more compelling.
There's a joke here, obviously, in the spectacle of two out-of-shape adults making fools of themselves at sporting events. Unfortunately it's the only joke, and it eventually wears thin.
A decent idea for an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond," "The Do-Deca-Pentathlon" falls short as a movie.
Audience Reviews for The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
Embracing the nature of sibling rivalry and a desire to return to the familiar, The Duplass Brothers bring a dark comedy that lives and breathes reality with every passing event. Steve Zissis and Mark Kelly play brothers Mark and Jeremy who haven't communicated most of their lives but meet up one weekend when Mark and his wife and son visit their mother for his birthday weekend. With Mark stressed out and on medication, everyone sees Jeremy's presence as a bad thing. However, when he pitches the self-titled, made-up Do-Deca Pentathlon to Mark, which they did as kids with no clear winner, Mark is determined to beat his brother, at any cost necessary, including lying to his family, missing his birthday party, and causing multiple scenes. As much as the stakes are a little melodramatic at times, the comedy is there. With believable performances from Zissis and Kelly, the film stays on track for most of its run. Unclear as to the actual motives of the wife, Stephanie (Jennifer Lafleur) and her instant hatred for the competition, her part in the film feels derivative, a hindrance for the sake of hindrance. "The Do-Deca-Pentathlon" screams the styling of the Duplass Brothers, and continues their recent run with available, dark comedies. Still surprising that Jay and Mark did not star in the film, you have to wonder how much of this is autobiographical between the two.
A pretty good comedy elevated by a great third act.
Stephanie: It's not just sports between the two of you. The Duplass brothers, particularly Mark Duplass, must be doing something right. This year alone, Mark has been in four movies and still has The League on FX coming back in the fall. He and his brother Jay have also been doing quite well. Earlier in the year, their film Jeff, Who Lives at Home came out in theaters and now they have The Do-Deca-Pentathlon hitting theaters and VOD. 'Do-Deca' was actually made a few years ago, but between 'Jeff' and 2010's Cyrus it would seem that the Duplass' have been given the chance to put out their much smaller and more personal movie. 'Do-Deca' is a minimalist sort of feature that doubles as a high stakes sports film and an exploration of sibling rivalry. It is certainly small scale, but also well done. read the whole review at thecodeiszeek.com