Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Idiot Brother

Start smilling and be happy, we're reviewing Our Idiot Brother!

I'm really really happy with how this came out.
Our Idiot Brother is a nice little family comedy.  Like Ned and his family, Paul Rudd as Ned is the glue that holds this silly romp together.  But is it funny enough?
Ned(Paul Rudd with the biggest damn grin ever) is just out of jail from selling weed to a police officer. He hops between staying with his three sisters, Miranda, Natalie, and Liz, (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer, respectively), and somehow interrupting each of their lives through his happy go lucky ways.  They tire of and grow to hate Ned, but he may be exactly what they need in their lives.

For a comedy starring Paul Rudd, I wouldn't call this laugh out loud funny. It has its funny moments here and there, and it's new age dysfunctional family story is nice and cute, but it's not a must see laugh riot. There are laughs to be had here and there, but I can't help thinking the blooper track during the credits has more laughs than the entirety of the movie.

Rudd plays his dopey lovable brother routine perfectly; you just want to give him a hug all the time. Just look at that smile! That bearded man smiles all the time.  The rest of the cast are equally entertaining, especially all of Ned's sisters. They each have their own quirky personality that clashes with the other two. Steve Coogan plays Dylan, an uppity art snob and husband to Liz who doesn't like getting angry(apparently, you would not want to see him when he gets angry). And hey, there's Zooey Deschanel and Rashida Jones makin' out. Raise your hand if you had that as a fantasy! And for the straight ladies there's naked Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan(No not in that way you pervs).

Obviously this is the "city sisters have complicated life and simple brother comes in and wrecks everything but really then they see he fixes everything" kind of premise.  It's not really a surprise but it's interesting to see how each of their lives implode, especially when they seem so well put-together when they try to fix each other's problems.  Most of the movie is about Ned making things worse and his sisters seriously hating on him, but we never really get the "hey wait, I'm kind of more fucked up than he is," moment. The climax just sort of happens and the resolution feels a bit rushed.

There's also a love interest Ned tries to get back with throughout the movie that you just know he's going to get back with at the end. Usually it's so cliche that I can't stand it, but in this movie I didn't mind it. Probably because the love interest is his dog(no not in that way you pervs!).

Everyone in the movie seems to have a very organic, new age or liberal lifestyle. Natalie is living in an apartment with her girlfriend and a few dozen art students, Miranda is a busy single reporter with a career, and Liz and her husband are teaching their son about non-violence and organic foods, "No cake today, he had a cupcake yesterday".  When they all come crashing down, you might take this as the movie preaching against these lifestyles, but if anything the message is not to use these things to disguise the fact that you're an asshole.  It's trying to change the idea of the core modern family, much like The Kids Are Alright did, and I think it does that fairly well.

Why you should see it: Nice modern dysfunctional family story with some funny bits and a lovable Paul Rudd.
Pitfalls: Not as funny as I'd hoped, weak third act.
Overall: It's a pretty good movie, but you might want to wait until it comes out on DVD.
One Scene Metaphor: Zooey Deschanel and Rashida Jones making out. WAIT NO I MEAN uhhhhh...ok when Liz makes her husband Dylan(Steve Coogan) give Ned a job helping him out with his ballerina documentary, all the ballerinas take to Ned while Ned is interrupting Dylan's vision. Silly and lovable, but not bursting at the seams funny.

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