Movie Review: Our Idiot Brother [2011]

Our Idiot Brother [2011]

Our Idiot Brother [2011]
Director: Jesse Peretz
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Country: USA

There’s no question that Paul Rudd is an easily likeable guy. Without him in the lead role in Our Idiot Brother, this review would probably not be positive.

In the movie, Rudd plays Ned, a laidback and, well, idiot stoner. While selling organic food at a farmer’s market, he is propositioned by a police officer (in full uniform) who is looking to buy some pot. Ned, friend to everyone, hooks him up and promptly gets arrested. After gaining an early release from jail due to “good behavior”, Ned heads home to the only place he can still go to — his family. The problem is, no one really wants him to stay with them.

Ned’s mom (Shirley Knight), a lonely wino, is the only one who takes him in with open arms. Ned’s three sisters are all hesitant to have him around, as they all have their own issues. Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) is an uptight busybody professional who has a strange platonic relationship with her neighbor (criminally underused Adam Scott). Liz (Emily Mortimer) is a housewife married to a pretentious filmmaker (Steve Coogan). Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) is an artsy free-spirit who is in a committed relationship with attorney Cindy (Rashida Jones). All of them have underlying problems that they prefer to keep under wraps. However, Ned’s friendly demeanor and big mouth leads to things coming out in the open, much to the chagrin of his siblings.

It’s a pretty safe bet that most will be able to determine the direction the movie takes early on, but the predictability never becomes a major fault. This is a testament to the entire cast, all of whom are very enjoyable no matter how small their roles.

Our Idiot Brother [2011]

Paul Rudd is, of course, the anchor of the film. I had a hard time getting behind his character, Ned, in the first 1/3 of the movie simply because he was such a doofus. Selling pot to an officer is only the beginning; I had to groan when Ned handed a big wad of cash to a total stranger on the subway while he picked up something he dropped. This is a guy who trusts everyone and expects people to live with the same sense of humanity that he practices daily. It’s a little unbearable at first just how stupid he is, but I couldn’t help but get won over by the end simply because of Paul Rudd’s natural charisma.

The rest of the cast is great, and it includes some personal favorites of mine such as Adam Scott, Zooey Deschanel and Rashida Jones (whom they even managed to make look unflattering, which I didn’t think was possible). And of course, it is fun to see Steve Coogan play the asshole that he does so well.

The story is thin, but sweet, much like the overall film. Our Idiot Brother starts off a little slow, but picks up by the halfway point. By the end, it is difficult not to feel good about the movie. Ned may be an idiot, but the world would be better off if everyone shared some of his kindhearted traits. Our Idiot Brother is a good way to close out the summer.


9 thoughts on “Movie Review: Our Idiot Brother [2011]

  1. Scott Lawlor says:

    I have seen this film around but haven’t read any reviews until now. I thought it looked pretty shocking but I guess I might give it a go!!

    Who is gonna win in a fight, Rudd or Bateman?

    • Eric says:

      There’s no real urgency to see this in the theaters, but it’s worth checking out at some point.

      Man, that’s a tough question. I definitely like both guys, but I would probably go with Bateman simply because of Arrested Development. How about you?

  2. CMrok93 says:

    Nice Review Eric! Paul Rudd is terrific as the loveable, good-hearted, naive Ned. His warmth makes this a feel good film, but the annoying sisters take their toll and nearly ruin my Rudd buzz. Check out my review when you get a chance!

  3. Adam Griffith says:

    Nice review Eric. Two questions, do you think the writers were attempting to have Ned be a classic Christ figure in the film and What did you think about T.J. Summers as Billy the oranic farmer/candle maker?

    • Eric says:

      Thanks, Adam! Those are good questions. I didn’t really think too much about a religious parallel with Ned’s character, though I can see the comparison somewhat. Totally forgot to mention TJ Summers in my review. His character really bugged me at first, but he had me laughing my ass off by the end. Good stuff.

  4. countoncross says:

    Great review…..I have been wondering if I should go to see this movie or wait until video. I think I would enjoy the movie but I am not in a huge hurry to spend the “theatre” money. lol

    • Eric says:

      Thanks! I totally understand about “theatre” money. Movie ticket prices can get pretty outrageous. Our Idiot Brother is a good movie, but there’s no need to rush to the cinema to see it.

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