After their good-for-nothing father dies and their mother leaves to be with the man she really loves, brothers Jack, Barry and Patrick are left with only each other as they struggle with their own relationships. Married J... more »ack is tempted to have an affair; Patrick isn't sure his fiancée is "the one"; and Barry can't deal with the fact that he is actually falling in love.« less
"This is a pleasant film about problems concerning love. There are three brothers who run into difficulties that they have to solve. My favourite is the second oldest brother. Barry has seen how his mother had to struggle for years with a man that she did not love. After Barry's father is dead, Barry's mother is finally able to marry the man she has always loved.
Barry's reaction to his mother's fate and also to his own relationship with his father, makes Barry afraid to form a steady relationship with the woman of his dreams.This film touches important issues like love, committment and religion. There were many funny scenes in this film too, so it was good to sit down and watch it."
If You Grew Up Irish-Catholic, You Will Be Intrigued
Stephen M. Bauer | Hazlet, NJ United States | 07/15/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Brothers McMullen is supposed to be about what it's like having grown up Irish-Catholic in America, which, in the context of this movie, is supposed to be about being sexually repressed. It's an outstanding movie that everyone should see.
The movie is about the relationship of three brothers to the women in their lives and to each other. I must warn you, this is a serious romantic comedy-there's no severed limbs, exploding buildings, or sensational car wrecks. It's a quiet movie with no action. It's also a movie you can watch more than once and still be equally engrossed. The oldest brother is a high school basketball coach, but, oddly, he's very non-jock like. He's somewhat sensitive and a little thoughtful for crying out loud! And he doesn't drink enough beer for a coach. He is friends with another woman who has the serious hots for him, but he keeps turning her down out of respect for his marriage. Middle brother was engaged to a Jewish girl, but it broke up due to his own moral and emotional conflicts. Later on, he then picks up an old friendship with the Irish-American girl that grew up next door. She repairs cars in the backyard, drinks beer like the guys and has big hair to remind you she's a girl. I liked her better anyway. The youngest brother is the most likable. He hasn't been a practicing Catholic since junior high; yet, he considers himself a believer. His charismatic crudeness and way of treating woman remind me of the characters Sean Penn plays, but this guy's got better personality and looks. Both older brothers tell him he drinks too much, but I'd say he drinks just the right amount for his age and station in life! He doesn't seem sexually repressed to me, but his slightly overplayed male bluster and beer drinking might suggest to a shrink that he's keeping his true feelings on ice.At first glance I thought the McMullen family didn't typify mine--the brothers seem like libertines by comparison! But they call movies and plays drama because they're supposed to dramatize. I think the characters act out things that all of us have thought, felt, wished we'd done, experienced or observed, either consciously or unconsciously. The incongruity of values and lifestyle between the conventional straight-laced oldest brother and the carousing youngest brother was interesting. Unlike most men and unlike most Irish-Catholics, the brothers talk about all their conflicts with each other and their wives and girl friends (Otherwise, there wouldn't be a movie!).There's some funny, typically Catholic hypocrisy. Middle brother is sleeping with his Jewish girlfriend. When they go looking for an apartment together, he decides they can't live together before marriage because he's Catholic. In another scene, they are in bed together having hank-panky and he tells her they shouldn't be using contraceptives because he's Catholic. Oops. I didn't use the word sex or intercourse. Does that make me sexually repressed?Apparently, if a woman pursues a man and he's attracted to her, but he chooses to remain faithful to his wife, Hollywood considers that sexually repressed. And if a person is torn between what they've been taught is right and what their passions command, that is considered sexually repressed. I'd call it being a normal human being. I don't think the movie makers were trying to portray the youngest brother as liberated; rather, I think they were trying to portray him as another kind of emotional cripple, but I'm on shaky ground here. I thought the brothers did O.K. in their relationships to others, but I was a little disappointed that none of the brothers lacked the intellectual depth and sophistication to sort out and resolve their inner conflicts. This is the real tragedy. Unfortunately, the movie barely touches on the woman's point of view. It would make a great sequel."
An all time favorite
Stephen M. Bauer | 08/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of romantic comedies, and I have gone on record as saying that "The Brothers McMullen" is my all time favorite. It is the story of three brothers from Long Island struggling to find meaning in their relationships while also dealing with their Catholic faith. It is written and directed by Edward Burns("Saving Private Ryan") who also plays one of the brothers. He does a fabulous job creating a movie that is insightful and entertaining. It only runs for 96 minutes, but I could have watched the story of the McMullen brothers for at least another hour. The DVD is definately one that will be added to my collection come its release in October. When looking for a sweet, character driven love story, there is nothing better then "The Brothers McMullen.""
A great story
respgirl | Orlando, FL USA | 08/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love Ed Burns and I thought this film was good (I do like "She's the One" better) It's about 3 brothers, their lives and the reprocussions of growing up in a Catholic Irish American household in New York city."
Candid and Entertaining
Stephen M. Bauer | 11/06/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who grew up in an Irish or Italian home, and had more than one brother, this film hits home. Burns paints an accurate picture of three headstrong men who deal with the often funny, sometimes frustrating psychotic quirks that come with having a real SOB for a father. Although this film has its slow moments, and its characters sometimes come off as one-dimensional, it's excusable since it was Burns' first effort. The three brothers are likable and transparently decent. And the plot deals honestly with the issue of relationships -- on the new, mid-point, and latter levels -- from a man's perspective, which is a refreshing change from the gross feminization that deluges the American male in cineams these days. (Cameron Crowe, please take note)Those who are interested in screenwriting will enjoy how Burns explores and develops his protagonists.So, on some Friday night, find you favorite rump-sprung chair, pop open a beer, and enjoy the tale of the Brothers McMullen."