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Lifeless bromantic comedy Flock of Dudes has all the celebrity cameos and latent sexism of Judd Apatow’s adult coming-of-age stories but none of the lowbrow wit and sensitivity. Like Apatow staples The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Flock of Dudes follows an immature schlub who tries to ditch his childish friends and pursue a sustainable (i.e., not just sexual) relationship with an emotionally stable woman.
Unlike Apatow’s typical arrested-adolescent protagonists, nice-guy cubicle drone Adam (Chris D’Elia) never outgrows the beer pong and fantasy-football league that typify his slovenly best friends. Sure, Adam dresses better, gets serious about his writing career, and tries to date flirty love interest Beth (Hannah Simone), but we never learn why he ditches fraternity-style hijinks after his younger brother David (Skylar Astin) gets engaged.
All we know is that Adam suddenly doesn’t enjoy getting drunk and picking up women with obnoxious friends like his misogynistic college buddy Butler (Veep‘s Timothy Simons), a yuppie cokehead who tries to peek at a less-than-amused waitress’s nipples by drenching her with two pitchers of beer.
Director Bob Castrone and co-writers Brian Levin and Jason Zumwalt saddle normally gut-busting comedians like Eric André and Kumail Nanjiani with sketch-thin material unworthy of an Apatow blooper reel, particularly when stand-up comic Jeffrey Ross, playing a trench-coat-clad exhibitionist, noisily masturbates in public while giving Adam dating advice. Ross’s impassioned delivery is funny, but his character is so sophomoric that you can’t help but wish Flock of Dudes were as clever as it is crass.
Flock of Dudes
Directed by Bob Castrone
Starz Digital Opens
October 7, Village East Cinema