MRR Movie Review: "Alpha Males Experiment"


MRR Movie review: "Alpha Males Experiment" 

Rating:  R (For language and sexual content) 

Length: 88 minutes

Release Date: April 26, 2009

Directed by: Alex Ranarivelo

Genre: Comedy and romance 


"Alpha Males Experiment" takes a comical look at the evolution of the behaviors of men and women from the cavemen times to modern times. The movie was originally titled "Knuckle Draggers." It was written and directed by Alex Ranarivelo.

The movie opens with a series of beautiful cave drawings and a matching tune in the background. Then, viewers are introduced to Kyle (portrayed by Paul J. Alessi) who handles a bar scene injustice so brilliantly male viewers will be wondering how to replicate such an action in real life. There is also Ethan (portrayed by Ross McCall), Kyle's brother who has major differences with his fiancée.

While Kyle and Ethan may be brothers, their views on women and dating are completely different. Kyle is so old-fashioned that he would have felt right at home in cavemen times, whereas Ethan is completely the opposite, he is of the view that dating should be approached with sensitivity, and he goes out of his way to be a nice guy.

At first, it seems as if this sensitive-guy approach is working excellently for Ethan because he is soon getting married to a beautiful woman, Heather (portrayed by Jennifer Alden). Things do not remain rosy forever, however, because he soon realizes that his fiancée frowns upon his financial struggles. Unlike Ethan, who believes that their love is stronger than financial troubles, Heather longs for the good life and does not have the patience to wait for better times. What is more, Ethan is oblivious to the writing on the wall, and he is shocked when Heather dumps him unceremoniously. It is then that he turns to his sexist brother for relationship advice.

The breakup does not come as a surprise to Kyle, who believes that Ethan does not know how to be a real man. Kyle decides to show his brother the ropes, and his brother agrees to play by these rules for a change. The only voice of dissent comes from Patricia (portrayed by Amie Barsky), who believes that Ethan should stick to his sweet nature. 

Without a doubt, the "Alpha Males Experiment" paints a very vivid and honest picture of the American contemporary dating scene. It also gives an interesting view into the relationship psychology of both sexes. The movie is well made too, which is a tribute both to the ensemble cast and to the director.

For sure, one gets a feeling that this is not something entirely new when watching this comedy. From "Casanova" to "Spread," filmmakers have always grappled with the issue of alpha males and their relationship trials. It is clear that "Alpha Males Experiment" is not trying to chart any new territories with its story. What is interesting about the comedy, however, is its refreshingly new take on the story.

The main characters, particularly Ethan and Kyle, are portrayed superbly. The sensitive Ethan who wants to achieve his career and financial ambitions while still keeping his woman happy is a darling of many movie watchers. He is a bit pitiful at times, to be sure, but in a way, that only rouses sympathy and not disgust. His brother, on the other hand, feels on top of the world and seems to think that he has everything in control. He is outspoken and even vulgar, though he is not entirely a bad man as some people may think. There is also the kind Patricia, the self-centered artist Gavin (portrayed by Justin Baldoni), the worker bee Renee (portrayed by Danielle Nicolet), and the loyal Russell (portrayed by Omar Gooding). All in all, the characters are well developed.

Just like some people may need help with parenting, the "Alpha Male Experiment" shows that others may need help with their relationships. It shows that family members and friends have a big say in how most people handle their relationships, and they can make or break these associations. The comedy shows that it does not matter what relationship stage a person is in, problem can still crop up. For example, the movie features characters that have been divorced, engaged, single, or married, and they all have their problems to deal with.

In this Hollywood era, most romantic comedy filmmakers tend to overdo the vulgar scenes or dialogues. That is why it is refreshing to learn that "Alpha Male Experiment" is R-rated but still not filled with tawdry scenes. Some young viewers may find the film not edgy enough for their taste, but the majority will love it. Ranarivelo has succeeded in taking an old story and turning it into something new and interesting. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars