Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Tale of an idiot
Not nearly as broad and goofy as the film's title and advertising make it out to be, Our Idiot Brother is just a nice little comedy/drama (yes, there's actually some drama here), about Ned (Paul Rudd) a naive but open-hearted guy who shakes things up when he moves back in the vicinity of his three sisters after a stint in prison for committing a non-violent and truly idiotic crime. The sisters (played by the talented and fetching Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer) all have their own problems- revolving around their jobs, families, and/or love lives- which become further complicated when Ned's antics are stirred into the mix.
Ned isn't truly an idiot, just a guy whose too-trusting nature often results in idiotic situations that gum up the works for him and, now that he's back home, his siblings. Of course, Ned's personal craziness also illuminates the truly idiotic and crazy situations that his sisters have either created or tolerate in their own lives. Does Ned, despite being eye-rollingly annoying most of the time, help nudge his sisters back on the right path? And in return, do they help Ned free himself from his own eccentriciites and put him on more stable footing, too? Unless you've never seen an American comedy/drama before, you'll see the "yes" answer to both of those questions coming from a mile away.
But that's okay. With films like this one, it's the journey that counts, not the need for an unpredictable conclusion. Our idiot Brother functions as perfectly fine cinematic comfort food, giving viewers exactly what they expect overall, but still peppering a handful of small surprises along the way (mostly in the laughs department). I had a good time watching this at home one evening, and you probably would, too.
"Our Idiot Brother" was in theaters earlier this year and is now available on DVD and various pay-per-view and streaming services.