The trailer for Our Idiot Brother looked interesting, and Paul Rudd is usually a great actor. Unfortunately, the movie ended up being more of a dramedy (drama/comedy) than a comedy, which was sad because I was really in the mood to see a funny film.
Good-natured Ned (Paul Rudd, “Dinner for Schmucks”) lives on a hippie farm of sorts with his girlfriend, Janet (Kathryn Hahn, “How Do You Know”), but is sent to jail when he sells some pot to a uniformed police officer (yes, really). When he gets out, Ned finds that Janet has a new boyfriend, so he is forced to move in with his mother, and later, when he gets sick of her, each of his three sisters. Ned is a big-hearted guy but tends to get people in trouble by telling the truth, and one by one, he makes a (negative) impact on each of his sisters’ lives. He’s family, though, so they can’t turn him away … but it’s really, really hard for them to have him around.
Paul Rudd and his sisters (Zooey Deschanel, “Your Highness”; Elizabeth Banks, “The Next Three Days”; and Emily Mortimer, “Shutter Island,” respectively) are great in their parts. I think the problem lies more within the script and its tendency to think it’s funny when it’s actually not. The story in the movie was interesting, and I was never bored during it, but we all know how the ending is going to turn out (semi-spoiler: “slacker pothead brother makes good”) and although Paul Rudd is perfect for the role of Ned, a naive, kind man, he can’t make the movie work on his own. The sisters’ stories were varied and added a bit to the film, and how Ned fit into them, too, but it tended to segue into being a drama rather than a comedy.
Maybe see this film. If you like movies about families that are “slice of life”-type movies, then you might like Our Idiot Brother. I think I was expecting more out of it than I actually got, which is why I was so disappointed, but it had the potential to be a much better comedy than it actually was.
Our Idiot Brother is in theaters today, August 26th, and is rated R with a runtime of 90 minutes.
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