Tuesday, April 16, 2013

O is for Our Idiot Brother


USA, 2011
Running Length: 90 minutes
Cast: Paul Rudd, Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Hugh Dancy, Steeve Coogan, Rashida Jones
Director:  Jesse Peretz
Screenplay: Jesse Peretz, Evgenia Peretz
Cinematography: Yaron Orbach

It would be easy to call Our Idiot Brother just another Forrest Gump wannabe, but that would be doing the film a disservice.

Paul Rudd plays Ned, the Idiot brother of the title.  In the opening scenes he is convinced by a sob story to sell pot to a cop and winds up in jail.  Upon his release, he goes to live with his mother and sisters in Manhattan.  While his laid back, easy going attitude fits perfectly on the biodynamic farm he was working on with his girlfriend before the bust, it is gratingly out of place in New York.

All three sisters have problems and in no time at all, Ned is involved in every one.  Na├»ve almost to a fault, Ned shares conversations meant for his ears only, discusses the things he sees even when he shouldn’t and blurts out whatever comes into his head without any self-censoring.  In doing this, he shows his sisters what is wrong with their lives.  One refuses to believe her husband is cheating on her, another won’t come clean about cheating on her girlfriend and the third is forced to make some difficult moral choices in regards to her career.

Ned’s bumbling compels each of them to face up to and fix the problems in their lives.

Rudd’s idiot is very appealing, and watching him inserting himself into Manhattan society is a riot.  While the film’s conclusion is a little too pat, and the film draws too heavily on its satire of New York’s yuppie lifestyle, the comic talent on show here is enough to overcome such small niggles.   


  1. That was a movie I badly wanted to see when it was released, and still haven't gotten around to rectifying that...

  2. For some reason I remember this not getting good reviews so I didn't see it. Your description sounds much better.