8 feb. 2012

My Review: Our Idiot Brother (7/10)

¨I just figured, looking at your sheet, that since you sold grass to a uniformed police officer that you must be retarded.¨

Our Idiot Brother is the latest Paul Rudd comedy directed and written by relatively unknown Jesse Peretz (who is better known for his music videos). I really wasn’t expecting much from this film, but I have to admit that I was hooked with the story and the characters from the very beginning. I mean, it`s hard not to like Paul Rudd when he is playing the dumb nice character. I really thought he was miscast in Dinner for Schmucks where he had to play a much more serious and means spirited role. This time he gets to play the dumb innocent character and he is just hilarious. The rest of the cast in this film is also great and I really laughed throughout the movie. It is dumb and lighthearted, but I was really entertained. There isn’t anything original about Our Idiot Brother and we`ve laughed at similar jokes in other movies, but I just had a great time with this film and I can`t really explain why. I guess it had to do with Rudd`s easygoing character. He was one dimensional like most of the other characters, but sometimes this works in a comedy when you are actually making fun of these typical stereotypes. The story also works thanks to the great chemistry Rudd has with the rest of the cast and the dynamics between these characters. Rudd is the main character, but he interferes in most of his family`s life in one way or another and everyone seems to suffer from his decisions. The movie really works well and had me laughing throughout it.

Paul Rudd is Ned, a hippy and idealistic guy who grows organic vegetables in a farm with his girlfriend Janet (Kathryn Hahn) and his dog Willie Nelson who he absolutely adores. One day Ned is caught selling weed to a uniformed police officer and is sent to prison. Ned is just a simple guy who puts his absolute confidence in people expecting the best from them, and that is why people end up taking advantage of him. It`s easy to say he`s idiot, but in my opinion he`s just pure hearted and has the best intentions for everyone; even though those best intentions end up hurting his family. He has three sisters: Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) who is a writer and is working on her first real important article, Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) who is a model for a nude painter named Christian (Hugh Dancy) and is moving in with her girlfriend Cindy (Rashida Jones), and Liz (Emily Mortimer) a mother of two boys who is married with an important documentary director, Dylan (Steve Coogan). When Ned is released from prison for good behavior he returns to the farm only to find out that Janet is with another man named Billy (T.J. Miller). Ned isn’t welcome anymore and he isn’t even allowed to take his dog with him. Without a home and without a job, Ned has to return to live with his mother Ilene (Shirley Knight). He also spends a few days with his sisters making their lives a bit complicated due to his sincerity, and thus is where all the comedy ensues.  

Even though Ned causes a lot of trouble back home, he isn’t actually guilty for his sisters` mistakes. It`s just that he seems to say the wrong things at the wrong time. He is a very sincere person and for that he gets other people into a lot of trouble, but at the end they learn that sincerity is the best way of going about things. He is a little slow and naïve, which in today`s society we sometime consider to be stupid since he expects always the best from everyone and never considers that most people are opportunists or just plain mean spirited. The heart of the film relies on this ingenuity and how it ends up complicating things for his sisters who decide to blame him for having a big mouth instead of realizing that their mistakes have put them in that situation. The cast in this film is just fantastic. Steve Coogan, Emily Mortimer, Zooey Deschanel, and Elizabeth Banks all give funny performances. Paul Rudd however, is the heart of the film and he is a lot funnier than in his recent films. I really enjoyed this comedy and found it very entertaining. I think the world would be a better place with more people like Ned. Kudos for Jesse Peretz and his direction in Our Idiot Brother.

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