Review: Blake Griffin steals show in lame ‘Brain’

The newest Detroit Pistons superstar shows sharp chops and easy charm in Whitney Cummings’ dud romantic comedy

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

The good news about “The Female Brain” is Blake Griffin is a hoot as a professional basketball player nursing a knee injury and working out problems with his wife, played by “SNL’s” Cecily Strong.

Whitney Cummings (“Made of Honor”) stars as Julia Brizendine, co-wrote and directed the comedy “The Female Brain.”

The bad news is “The Female Brain” is weak enough that Griffin is easily able to steal the show.

The scattershot romantic comedy stars Whitney Cummings, who also directed and co-wrote the film, as a neurologist studying the differences between the male and female brains. Cummings also narrates, interrupting scenes with freeze frames that attempt to offer scientific explanations for what is happening inside a character’s head, illustrated with archival stock footage from eras past.

The approach doesn’t work, and quickly turns annoying when it becomes apparent no insight is being offered. It’s merely a tactic to make it look like there’s more going on here than there really is.

In three separate stories connected only by their Los Angeles geography, characters work through various relationship issues with their partners. Steven (Deon Cole) and Lisa (Sofia Vergara) are a married couple who have lost the spark; Adam (James Marsden) and Lexi (Lucy Punch) are facing concerns over control; Greg (Griffin) and Zoe (Strong) are fighting over traditional gender roles.

Cummings, meanwhile, plays Julia, who works with an over-medicated millennial assistant (“Lady Bird’s” Beanie Feldstein) and has the hots for Kevin (Toby Kebbell), the kind of over-written, overly clever guy who is only attractive in movies like this.

Griffin, showing an easygoing charisma and sharp comic timing, is a slam dunk. Otherwise “The Female Brain” is mindless.

(313) 222-2284


‘The Female Brain’


Not rated: Language, sexual situations

Running time: 97 minutes