Movie review: Our Idiot Brother
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Opens locally Friday, August 26th, 2011
Run Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes, Rated R
Starring: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Rashida Jones
Directed by Jesse Peretz (The Ex)
"Our Idiot Brother" is the latest example of wasted on-screen talent. As a huge fan of Paul Rudd, and the surrounding ensemble of talented actors and actresses, it's was hard not to have high hopes. But sadly "Our Idiot Brother" fails at almost everything, including the key ingredient of a so-called comedy...generating laughter.
Paul Rudd plays Ned, a burned-out pot-smoking hippy, who sells drugs to a uniformed cop in the opening scene to establish his "idiocy." But this scene and others throughout the movie fail to convince us that we are dealing with an idiot...quite the contrary, he comes across more like a well-intentioned do-gooder caught up in a sinful world (is Ned supposed to be Jesus? The comparisons could be made...) As he floats in and out of the lives of his sisters, we learn that the all have problems of their own, and his presence creates them to make changes in their own lives.
Sadly, I didn't give a rip. Rudd is a charming actor who has nothing more than a caricature to work with here. The occasional laugh doesn't make up for the uneven tone and pace of the movie, which simply isn't that funny...at least not as funny as it should be. Each sister (Mortimer, Deschanel, and Banks) is so thinly developed, it's a shame...we know from other, better, films that these actresses are all talented in their own right, but here they are given not much more to do then complain. You immediately recognize where the story is going, and that Ned will end up being somewhat of a savior, despite his so-called "idiot" tendencies.
Even within the realm if idiots, Ned's cluelessness is over-the-top unrealistic. When he finds his sister's husband naked in a room with another woman, he buys the story that they weren't doing anything out of the ordinary. Hmm, I wonder if he'll casually spill these beans to his sister later on when the movie needs to stretch itself out a few more minutes. This kind of dumbed-down run-of-the-mill comedy doesn't make Ned look like an idiot, but rather the filmmakers.
The tagline on the poster for this film reads: "Our Idiot Brother...Everybody Has One." They must have hoped that all of them would be present in the theatre together, to have any chance of this film being a bearable 90 minutes.
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