Starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel
Directed by Jesse Peretz
Plot: Three sisters must deal with their naive brother when he comes to live with each of them in turn after getting out of jail.
From the trailer, you might be expecting the next R-Rated silly comedy coming down the pike. No one would blame you. The movie stars Paul Rudd and there have been a lot of R-rated comedies this summer. Our Idiot Brother takes a different route. The movie is funny, but it’s more “make your smile” or “chuckle” funny than “laugh-out-loud” funny. It’s also far more about family relationships than gross-out humor.
Paul Rudd is Ned, a sweet, naive, mellow man-boy who says what’s on his mind because he doesn’t really understand duplicity. Did I mention naive? In the opening scene, Ned finds himself off to jail because he sold marijuana to a uniformed policed officer. Upon his release, he finds out that his girlfriend has moved on and is keeping his dog. Ned moves back in with his mom, but he soon stays with each sister, throwing their lives into turmoil.
I really enjoyed this movie, even though it wasn’t what I was expecting. Ned’s sisters are played by Elizabeth Banks (Miranda), Zooey Daschanel (Natalie), and Emily Mortimer (Liz). Each have their own unique set of problems that get exacerbated by the too-honest Ned. Banks and Mortimer both do fine jobs in their roles. Miranda is a Type-A go-getter trying to get established as a reporter; Liz is a mousy, little thing who is so kid-focused that she’s missing the problems in her marriage. Zooey Deschanel is the one to watch though. She is cute and really funny as the “slutty” sister trying to decide whether she’s ready to settle down. Her screen presence is incredible, and she’s impossible not to watch when she’s onscreen. This performance gives me high hopes for her already promising looking fall series, The New Girl.
Paul Rudd is solid (he always is). He plays Ned as naive, but not stupid. Ned isn’t mentally challenged – just an innocent who expects good things from everyone around him. However, the real break-out star of Our Idiot Brother is T.J. Miller. Miller is one of the funniest men alive. He’s done good work in a lot of movies and television series, but for some reason, he hasn’t been tapped for that starring role. I don’t get it. I saw Miller in a short at a film festival this year called I’m Having A Difficult Time Killing My Parents that he wrote, produced, and starred in. To date, I don’t think I’ve seen anything funnier this year. Here Miller plays the new boyfriend who has replaced Ned while he was in jail. The few laugh-out-loud moments in the film all stem from him.
Normally, I’m not happy when I feel like I’ve been duped by the trailer. Here though, I got a much better film than I was expecting, so I’ll forgive it. (This time, Hollywood! I’m watching you!) Our Idiot Brother is a wonderful way to spend an evening. Oh, and stay through the credits for some fun outtakes.
If you are seeing this opening week at the Ames Cinemark Movies 12, the film is showing at the following times:
Friday – Sunday: 12:40 AM, 3:00 PM, 5:20 PM, 7:40 PM, 10:00 PM.
Monday – Thursday: 5:20 PM, 7:40 PM, 10:00 PM
Showtimes are subject to change, so make sure to call the theater or look up the times online.
In the Ames area, showtimes are available at Cinemark.com.
In other areas, check out Fandango.com for theaters and showtimes.