Review of: Our Idiot Brother

26 Aug

You can’t choose your family. And if you could, it’s unlikely that the Rochlin sisters, Liz (Emily Mortimer), Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) would choose their brother Ned (Paul Rudd). Ned has just been released from jail after foolishly selling pot to a uniformed police officer. He returns to the farm he shared with his girlfriend who now lives with someone else, a fact that she hadn’t gotten around to telling Ned. She also refuses to give up the dog named Willie Nelson that they both claim ownership of. With no place to stay, Ned turns to his mother. That doesn’t work so he moves to New York City where his sisters live. There’s Liz, the perfect urban housewife; Miranda, the social climbing writer for a major magazine, and the flamboyant Natalie who lives with her Lesbian lover. One by one, the well intentioned Ned causes problems in the lives and relationships of each sister.

Our Idiot Brother shot in an amazingly short, 30 days is a different kind of film. And gets a Rent It rating.

It’s different in that the grainy film quality stands out in this high definition world. Rudd’s long hair, his ex girlfriend and their wholesome farm gives creates an aura of the 70s. It’s only with the appearance of a dime-thin lap top does it become clear that this is set in the current day. It’s a character driven film in a time when action/special effects movies dominate. Additionally, Rudd is a different leading man. Viewers have come to expect male stars to have bodies that are the handiwork of personal trainers; Rudd’s physique is exceedingly normal.

The movie effectively captures both the conflicting affection/frustration character of close relationships.

This cast is exceptional with a strong chemistry. Some of them had pre-existing relationships and it shows because this group seems like a real family. The cast diversity rating is a “B” with Liz’s girlfriend being played by Rashida Jones and Sterling Brown as Ned’s tough but fair parole officer.

Our Idiot Brother loses it unique quality with a forced, Hollywood style happy ending. That’s disappointing. It had been refreshingly atypical up that point. It remains an entertaining movie with a good cast. But no need to go to the theater. Wait and Rent It.

Our Idiot Brother is rated “R” for some nudity and crass language and is 90 minutes in length.


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