The 17 Weirdest Movie Siblings
April 19, 2012
In honor of National Siblings Day (yes, it’s a real holiday), we took the time to reflect on what family really means in the movies. If you’ve been watching the same films we have, it means relatives who embarrass you at every opportunity or indulge in ugly one-up-man-ship, like serving your sister a dead rat for dinner or trying to bury your new stepbrother. (We’re looking at you, Will Ferrell.)
Even when siblings are close, sometimes they’re too close, which means one can’t live without the other and that never ends well.
So we decided to take a well-meaning Hallmark holiday and focus only on the weirdest brothers and sisters we could think of. If you’re not happy about it, go tell Mom. (Or just sound off in the comments.)
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in â€˜Twinsâ€™
How on earth could these two be twins? Genetic experiments, that’s how, which explains the whopping difference in their stature. And why does Ahnuld, er, Julius, have a radically different accent than Vincent (DeVito)? Being separated at birth, of course. One ended up with the brains, the other with the street smarts and together, they’re the unlikeliest set of brothers the movies have ever paired up
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in â€˜Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?â€™
This teaming of Hollywood icons as twisted sisters capitalized on the fact that these actresses had been bitter rivals for decades. Davis plays Jane, an aging child star in her 50s who still dresses like a little girl, and Crawford plays her sister Blanche, who was also a movie star back in the day. Now Blanche is in a wheelchair and can’t escape her sister’s cruel torments, including cooking a rat for dinner.
Christopher Walken and Diane Keaton in â€˜Annie Hallâ€™
Annie (Keaton) might be charmingly eccentric, but her ultra-weird brother, Duane (Walken), is a full-on wacko. After Duane gives a bizarre speech about how he dreams of swerving into oncoming traffic, Annie’s boyfriend Alvy (Woody Allen) announces, “I have to go now because I’m due back on planet Earth.”
Cary Grant and John Alexander in â€˜Arsenic and Old Laceâ€™
Mortimer Brewster (Grant) doesn’t just have his dotty old aunts to contend with in this classic comedy, he’s got his brother Teddy (Alexander), who’s convinced he’s Teddy Roosevelt and that he’s digging the Panama Canal in the basement. That’s very convenient for the aunts, since they’ve been poisoning lonely gentleman and need to bury the bodies! Mortimer is understandbly thrilled to learn he’s adopted.
Jeremy Irons and Jeremy Irons in â€˜Dead Ringersâ€™
And the award for “creepiest twins” goes to Jeremy Irons for his dual role as gynecologists who share the same women — without their lovers’ knowledge — in David Cronenberg’s still-haunting 1988 drama. As one brother spirals out of control, the other tries to “synchronize” with him, which leads to a deeply disturbing but inevitable finale.
Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear in â€˜Stuck on Youâ€™
We’re not sure how conjoined twins aren’t also identical, but hey, it’s a Farrelly Bros. movie. Walt (Kinnear) is the outgoing one who wants to be an actor while Bob (Damon) is shy and introverted, a major issue when Walt becomes a huge star. Romance is also a problem, especially when Bob tries to pretend Walt doesn’t exist.
Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, and Gwyneth Paltrow in â€˜The Royal Tenenbaumsâ€™
Quirky families are a staple of Wes Anderson movies, but he outdid himself with the Tenenbaums, an eccentric clan of overachievers who also happen to be neurotic, suicidal, and completely messed up, largely due to their jerk of a dad (Gene Hackman). It’s not too weird that Richie (Wilson) and Margot (Paltrow) are in love since she’s adopted, right?
Antonio Banderas and Danny Trejo in â€˜Spy Kidsâ€™
Super spy Gregorio Cortez (Banderas) should be lucky that he has a gadget-savvy older brother — Isador “Machete” Cortez (Trejo) — to look after his kids when he’s kidnapped. We’re not sure if it’s the fact that Trejo is so much older (16 years), that he and Banderas have previously tried to kill each other in “Desperado,” or simply that they look nothing alike, that makes this casting a stretch.
The Cullens in â€˜The Twilight Sagaâ€™
If you don’t want your small-town neighbors to realize you’re a vampire clan, may we suggest not having your “children” all enroll in the same high school and not all date each other? As gossipy Jessica (Anna Kendrick) points out to Bella (Kristen Stewart), “They’re together together. I’m not even sure that’s legal.â€ Even though they’re not blood (ha!) relatives, she insists, “It’s weird. Carlisle Cullen is like this foster dad-slash-matchmaker.”
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in â€˜Step Brothersâ€™
Playing childishly competitive middle-aged stepbrothers comes naturally to these two comedians, who honed their manchild antics in their previous team-up, “Talladega Nights.” They end up bonding over their love of velociraptors, John Stamos and of course, “Boats and Hoes.”
Kirsten Dunst and sisters in â€˜The Virgin Suicidesâ€™
No one ever understands the mysterious and beautiful Lisbon sisters, not their overprotective parents, or the boys who have crushes on them, or the neighbors who try to make sense of it when first one, then all five, commit suicide.
Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin in â€˜Big Businessâ€™
If ever there was a pair of mismatched siblings, this is it.
Thanks to a hospital mix-up, two sets of identical twins get switched. They grow up in different settings: The Shelton sisters who are wealthy and the Ratliffs, who are their poor country counterparts. Of course, shenanigans and a whole lot of hysteria ensues before the two pairs of sisters realize who’s who.
Drew Barrymore and Sean Astin in â€˜50 First Datesâ€™
You’ve got Lucy (Drew Barrymore), who is beautiful but has no short-term memory and her brother Doug (Sean Astin), a tanorexic, lisping body builder. All her problems stem from a head injury caused in a car accident but Doug, well, he just seems to have been born that way.
Mark Wahlberg‘s many sisters in â€˜The Fighterâ€™
Based on the true story of boxer Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), their relationship alone is entertaining enough. But throw in their six (or so) indistinguishable sisters who back up their mom and are just as ready to throw punches (or pull hair) as their brothers, and you’ve got some real comedy.
Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo in â€˜Super Mario Brothersâ€™
Did we buy these two as brothers? No. But we never really bought them as iconic videogame characters either in this much criticized flop. OK, we can see Bob Hoskins as a plumber, and his mustache was fairly Mario-esque. The rest, not so much.
Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas in â€˜Strange Brewâ€™
As Bob and Doug McKenzie, these two SCTV alums make pretty convincing brothers. But then again, you slap on silly hats and puffy jackets and say “Eh” after everything and anyone is going to seem related. The weirdest part of this oh so Canadian comedy is that it’s a parody of Hamlet, but with more beer.
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in â€˜The Blues Brothersâ€™
It’s not so much that they’re weird, but weird things just happen to them. They can harmonize with the best of them — and they did! — but Jake and Elwood Blues don’t really look alike, now do they? Not that that matters when you’re on a mission from God.