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7 Chinese Brothers (2015)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 13 April 2016 (Australia)
2:03 | Clip
Sharing a small apartment with his sleepy French bulldog, an unmotivated thirty-something slacker lands a job at a Quick Lube, to be close to the shop's beautiful manager. Has he found a new purpose in life? Is there still hope?


Bob Byington


Bob Byington
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Schwartzman ... Larry
Olympia Dukakis ... Grandma
Tunde Adebimpe ... Major Norwood
Eleanore Pienta ... Lupe
Stephen Root ... George
Arrow Schwartzman Arrow Schwartzman ... Arrow the Dog
Jimmy Gonzales ... Jimmy
John Gatins ... Dinsmore
Jonathan Togo ... Don
Josh Meyer ... Reginald
Ted Beck Ted Beck ... Cashier
Chris Doubek ... Daryl
Grover Coulson ... Mr. Johnson
Alex Karpovsky ... Kaminsky
Jennifer Prediger ... Woman with glasses


Larry (Jason Schwartzman) is content with his dog Arrow and booze, barely tolerating anything or anyone else. His marginally successful relationships include his grandmother, who keeps him afloat financially, and his best friend Norwood, who provides him with pharmaceuticals. But a chance encounter at a Jiffy Lube gives Larry a beguiling new boss and the impetus to head in another direction for a while. This movie showcases all that may be needed to help a person get unstuck in life: love (or an unrequited crush), friendship (or someone your family likes better than you) and family (or in this case a grandmother who will support you whenever you get fired from a job).

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Failure has a new overachiever




Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

13 April 2016 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Seven Chinese Brothers See more »


Box Office

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The lead dog in the film is actor Jason Scwartzman's real dog Arrow. See more »


Larry: Did you know that if you're high-fivin' somebody, if you look at their elbows, you will never miss with your hand? Focus on my elbow.
Major Norwood: What?
See more »


Tell It True
Written by Joyce Falker
Performed by Kathy Heideman
Courtesy of The Numero Group
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Less a film, more a thought that surprisingly works
1 September 2015 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

Bob Byington's 7 Chinese Brothers is less a film and more an idea, a thought, or even a potential TV show pilot. At seventy-one minutes in length, it's a film that practically questions what can be done with a film that has no cogent plot and relies on one simple, yet complex, character and his circumstances, most of which caused by his obnoxious attitude or his general indifference. On that basis alone, the film shouldn't be half as successful as it is, but through its feet-dragging narrative, practically impulsive structure, and low stakes, I did admittedly enjoy this film.

This film isn't laugh out loud funny, nor is it particularly compelling or insightful. It gives us Larry (Jason Schwartzman), a man evidently in his early thirties, living alone with his bulldog, who gets fired from his restaurant job minutes into the film for sneaking drinks at the bar. He wanders over to Quick Lube for an oil change, asks the cute manager girl for an application, and soon enough, he's working for an incorrigible man named Jimmy (Jimmy Gonzales), who encourages him to steal any spare change out of customers' vehicles. On top of all that, he's constantly going back and forth to the nursing home to visit his grandmother (Olympia Dukakis), who remains his last living relative, in addition to seeing his friend Major Norwood (Tunde Adebimpe).

Larry is the kind of character only Jason Schwartzman could play to great effect, for he conveys multiple different feelings with nearly every line or facial expression he conjures up. Larry is also the kind of character that acts like he has everything under control and that his cleverness and falsified feelings of self-worth will carry him to the places he needs to be. The problem is Larry really isn't half as good as he thinks he is, and this results for a lot of awkward scenarios thanks to Larry's random jokes/physical comedy and a multitude of impulsive, inappropriate actions that have consequences on his part.

Schwartzman has to carry a lion's weight of Byington's film on his back, and with that, succeeds because without a dynamic screen presence, 7 Chinese Brothers could've fallen apart in its first few minutes. But because Byington keeps the film moving, through fluid scenes that reflect humor and believable, albeit rather light, drama and never stalls into romantic or comedic clichés, the film, in turn, keeps moving and assembling a fun and breezy personality.

I have no idea what relevance the title has towards the story, nor can I figure out the takeaway from this film other than life can pass you by if you think you're funnier and more important than you actually are. However, through very little in the way narrative structure and flair and glamour, Byington has made 7 Chinese Brothers work almost solely on the charisma and dynamic talents of his leading actor, in addition to making this a largely fun, project. At the end of it all, I can admire that.

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Olympia Dukakis, Tunde Adebimpe, and Jimmy Gonzales. Directed by: Bob Byington.

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