As unlikely as it once seemed, Metairie one day may be known far and wide as the original home of the filmmaking Duplass Brothers. Their recent Jeff, Who Lives at Home stands as one of the year’s best movies, and The Do-Deca-Pentathlon — which was made in 2008 but only recently found a distributor in the wake of the brothers’ recent success — arrives as yet another welcome surprise from mumblecore mavericks Mark and Jay Duplass.
The Do-Deca-Pentathlon was inspired by the real-life escapades of two brothers (childhood friends of the Duplasses in Metairie) who devised a series of 25 private athletic events to prove unequivocally which brother reigns supreme. What if the brothers grew up estranged but remained insanely competitive, and replayed the original (but inconclusive) contest despite advancing age and out-of-shape bodies? The Do-Deca-Pentathlon pits thirty-something brothers Mark (Duplass regular Steve Zissis) and Jeremy (Mark Kelly, from TV’s Mad Men) against each in epic battle other over the course of one hugely uncomfortable family weekend.
Locally shot in quick-and-dirty style even by Duplass Brothers standards, The Do-Deca Pentathlon overcomes significant limitations via honest and memorable performances. It’s not as accomplished as the brothers’ more recent work, but it certainly remains true to their peculiar M.O. And sibling rivalry is something most of us have no trouble understanding. Laser Tag, anyone?
The Do-Deca-Pentathlon begins a one-week run tonight, July 27, at Chalmette Movies, 8700 W. Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette.