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“Our Idiot Brother” – Review (POSITIVE)

August 26, 2011

Someone has a black sheep in their family whether they want to admit it or not, but they do they always do. The black sheep/dysfunctional family comedy isn’t something we haven’t seen before, some are good (“Little Miss Sunshine”) & some aren’t (“Black Sheep”, it’s not a good movie, but it’s a guilty pleasure). In my opinion it all comes down to casting, because with a great cast you’ll forget about the ‘been there done that’ storyline.

Lucky for “Our Idiot Brother”, the story takes a different approach and we’ve got a solid cast! Paul Rudd stars in the title role, along with him are his sister-actress; Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, & Emily Mortimer, they’re all fantastic in their odder than the next sibling roles. The supporting cast isn’t bad either, there’s a few who half assed it in my opinion (Steve Coogan & Hugh Dancy), and others who really brought their A-game (TJ Miller, Rashida Jones, & Adam Scott).

Meet Ned (Rudd), he’s an idealist-stoner-hippy who always has a smile on his face for the world to see. After being caught for selling weed to a cop, Ned serves his time, and barges into the lives of his three sisters (Deschanel, Banks, & Mortimer). Once he re-enters their lives, Ned, without realizing it, turns his families lives upside down, subtly of course, Ned’s a subtle guy. Ned just wants to return to the world by still being a good person, he believes that there is good in everyone, no matter what they say or what problems they seem to face, which in the case of Ned’s sisters they’ve got a lot of problems. It’s funny how all these issues seem to come back into full circle for Ned.

Zooey plays a large than life free spirited bi-sexual who’s caught in a love debacle between her lesbian butch partner (Rashida Jones, I know, but she was awesome) and a attractive artist (Hugh Dancy), of course Ned will screw that up. Banks’ character is a Vanity Fair journalist who’s best friend neighbor (Adam Scott) has a thing for her, but has a hard time showing it, she the same, and of course…Ned will screw that up. As for Mortimer’s character, she’s a mom, whose documentary filmmaker husband (Steve Coogan) is having an affair with his films subject, that’s not Ned’s fault, but getting the word out is. Everyone seems to blame Ned, but had they looked at the world the way Ned does, perhaps they could’ve dealt with their issues in a more mature manner, which is ironic since Ned’s the most immature character of the film. I like Paul Rudd, he’s such a swell guy, and everything he’s in he’s just so damn likeable. It may sicken me one day, but for now it doesn’t, and his performance as Ned will be one of the top 5 iconic ones he’s done in his career. I wouldn’t be too surprised if he got a Golden Globe nomination for this, an Oscar maybe stretching it, but you never know. Like I said before the cast needs to be solid to make this kind of film work, and they really are. Zooey, Elizabeth, and Emily have great chemistry with Paul, he’s worked with a few of them in the past, so you get this real kinetic energy between the four of them.

I’m impressed with the fact that the movie took new directions with a familiar story, it didn’t have to rehash any pot jokes or say ‘fuck’ every 10 seconds, like most R rated comedies do, which was nice, we get to focus more on the characters as people and not as crude people. The supporting actors are memorable, Rashida Jones & TJ Miller. Miller especially, he plays Ned’s ex-girlfriends new beau, he’s such a riot. And the subplot of Ned trying to get his dog back was also a nice little piece of charm to the movies whole. Make sure you stay for the end credits there are some hilarious bloopers, the last one will obviously be the best. You’ll see. Overall, “Our Idiot Brother” will surely leave a smile on your face, it’s the feel good comedy of the year.

GRADE: B+

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 26, 2011 11:05 pm

    I can’t wait to see it. Great review!

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