Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Idiot Brother (2011)

Movie quotes:
Omar: [slowly] I’m…Officer…Omar…Coleman. I’m…your…parole…officer.
Ned: I’m Ned Rochlin. Why are you talking so slow?
Omar: I just figured, looking at your sheet, that since you sold grass to a uniformed police officer that you must be retarded.

At a glance:
A mildly funny, extremely pleasant actor-fest about a likeable man who naiveté causes problems for his family

Our review (with spoilers):
Our Idiot Brother is a mildly amusing comedy about a naïve man and his mildly quirky family. The title may sound like dumb and dumber, but this is a completely different take on the same type of character. You’d be hard-pressed to believe that Ned (Paul Rudd) could exist as is in real life, but there are certain elements of his character that can be seen in real people, and that gives the story an honesty that many laugh out loud type comedies do not have. Could the script have been improved by being punched up with a few more jokes? Perhaps – but at the risk of making it feel like a script that had been punched up.

The film starts are Ned’s trusting nature leads him to sell pot to a cop – and not a plainclothes cop, but a cop in full uniform. This leads to a jail term that might depress the average person, but Ned just views it as another adventure on the journey of life. When he leaves prison and is rejected by his former girlfriend, Ned turns to his mother and three sisters for a little help. As the different family members share him around, Ned’s honesty reveals hidden, often nasty truths, and soon, virtually every relationship he gets near is placed in jeopardy.

Nothing too deep or humorous happens here, but it matters little, not when you get to watch the immensely likeable Rudd having so much fun with the role, and when the film is, ultimately, as sweet as he is. He is helped immensely by a wonderful supporting cast (Emily Mortimer, who I loved in Transsiberian; Steve Coogan; Elizabeth Banks; Zooey Deschanel; and the wonderful Adam Scott). It’s such a good cast; they lift the script to a higher level than it would have achieved with lesser actors.

Rating: 3 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"Rudd brings color and dimension to a borderline-simpleton schlub who could have easily become a one-note cliché."
- Alexis Loinaz (Chicago Tribune)


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