Will Ferrell Stars In An Underappreciated Screwball Comedy Dominating On Streaming

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly's Stepbrothers is in the top 10 on both HBO Max and iTunes.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

will ferrell

Will Ferrell is one of those versatile comedy actors that has killed it in roles ranging from Anchorman to The Office, and we’re looking forward to seeing him in the star-studded Barbie film. But for old-school Ferrell fans, nothing was ever quite as funny as Step Brothers, and Ferrell’s chemistry with onscreen stepbrother John C. Reilly is guaranteed to crack you up. And it looks like more and more people are discovering this: FlixPatrol reports that this killer comedy is now in the Top 10 on both HBO Max and iTunes.

If you’ve never seen Step Brothers, the first thing you should know is that the movie has a ton of talent behind it. In addition to starring big names like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, the movie was produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Adam McKay. Altogether, this created a comedy dream team to help bring this very silly story to life.

will ferrell

What is the story about, though? The premise is that Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly each live with parents who are single, and when those single parents decide to marry each other, the two middle-aged men are forced to live together as stepbrothers. Much of the comedy in the film comes from the clashing personalities of the two men as well as the fact that they still live with their parents, and those parents won’t hesitate to ground them, take away their television, and other punishments more suited to juvenile children.

While Will Ferrell and John C. O’Reilly are the major stars of the show, it’s also worth checking Step Brothers out because it has a stacked cast of amazing actors. This includes stoner favorite Seth Rogen, voice acting legend Phil LaMarr, doctor-turned-funnyman Ken Jeong, and many more. And we really loved seeing a pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe Kathryn Hahn reminding us just how damn funny she can be.

Even though Step Brothers is today regarded as one of Will Ferrell’s more underappreciated movies, it was a genuine box office hit when it was released in 2008. The film made over $128 million against a budget of $65 million. The movie was successful enough to warrant serious discussions of a sequel, but to this day, there has never been a Step Brothers 2 despite ongoing fan demand.

Perhaps one reason why we never got a sequel movie featuring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly is that the film didn’t exactly resonate with critics. On RottenTomatoes, the movie has a 55 percent critical score, contrasting with the much “nicer” 69 percent among audiences. The general critical consensus was that if you don’t like crude humor or really love these actors, this might not be the film for you.

will ferrell

Nonetheless, the movie gained enough superfans over the years to recreate some of its most famous moments in very unexpected ways. For example, a political action committee was created and named after “Boats ‘N’ Hoes,” a music video featuring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly that we see fragments of in Step Brothers (you can watch the entirety of it on YouTube). The film also featured a fictional Catalina Wine Mixer event that has now become a real event held each year on (where else?) the island of Catalina.

One of the only things that brings us down about watching Will Ferrell do his thing in this movie is that the actor was arguably at his best when working with Adam McKay. Once upon a time, the two created Gary Sanchez Productions, a production company that created Step Brothers and movies like Anchorman 2 as well as major TV hits like Eastbound and Down and Succession. However, after the current projects are all produced, we’ll no longer be seeing anything from this production company because of the epic falling out between Ferrell and McKay.

The fallout is due to the drama surrounding the HBO Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty which was released last year and that Adam McKay executive produced. Originally, he cast Will Ferrell as Jerry Buss, the famous (and at times infamous) Lakers team owner in the 1980s, but other Hollywood producers convinced him to replace Ferrell with Reilly due to the better Buss resemblance. Ferrell, himself a huge Lakers fan, was so angered by the last-minute switch (and the fact he had to hear about it from Reilly rather than McKay) that he and McKay ended their partnership, and the two are no longer on speaking terms.

While it’s sad that we won’t get more comedy content from the partnership between Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, we’re happy that we get to stream such a classic comedy whenever we want. As for the former partners, Ferrell arguably hasn’t had too many hits lately, but McKay’s recent Netflix film Don’t Look Up was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Sadly, short of these two being forced to live together as we see in Step Brothers, we don’t imagine these former partners doing much together ever again.