Picks and Pans Review: Brotherly Love
The three Lawrence brothers, Joey, Matthew and Andy, play three brothers named (respectively) Joe, Matt and Andy. Actually, Joey is the prodigal half brother who moves back in with his semi-sibs and his stepmother (Melinda Culea) above the family auto-repair shop in Philadelphia. Joey, 19, signals his new post-Blossom maturity by forgoing shaving for a swarthy four-day stubble. Matthew, 15, plays an overly sensitive adolescent. Little Andy, 7, is the scene-stealer, a tyke of a thousand faces. Actually, most of them are superhero masks, like Wolverine from The X-Men. This persona allows him to spout lines like: "Allow me to cook some meat with my eyes."
The boys get some strong help from Culea, who brings real vitality to the role of the resilient single sitcom mom. "You call this a big fight?" she asks Joey. "Try taking Spiderman's temperature the baby way." This is far better than average family comedy, sappy but animated.