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Our Idiot Brother – Review

Directed by Jesse Peretz
Starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer, and Zooey Deschanel
90 minutes
Opens August 26, 2011

** stars out of five

Ned (Paul Rudd) is an easy-going guy but his naivety and “just because you think it, have to spill it” attitude causes him and others much grief. After selling weed to an on duty policeman (how stupid is that), Ned is convicted and goes directly to jail. After being released, he desperately needs a place to stay. Ned barges into the lives of his three sisters and his “big mouth” creates mayhem in each household.

Why See It?
I was expecting more from this comedy having viewed the trailer which looked like it was going to deliver one belly buster after another. But for me, Our Idiot Brother was more absurd than funny. The storyline could have packed more of a comedic punch; perhaps some poor decisions were made during the writing of the script which deflated the story into less than what it could have been.

On the other hand, most of the characters and actors will have a lot of audience appeal and were well matched. For example, the three sister characters helped to fuel the humour (what little there was): Emily Mortimer plays Liz, a housewife in a loveless marriage with a filmmaker who has a roving eye; Elizabeth Banks plays Miranda, an aspiring young writer oblivious to the fact that she is indeed well matched to her slack mannered neighbour; Zooey Deschanel plays Natalie, a lesbian who may be more bisexual that she would like to admit.

And of course there is the character Ned; Paul Rudd was only mediocre as the idiot bro and considering his large roster of past comedies (Clueless, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Dinner for Schmucks) Rudd is so much more capable of delivering a top-notch performance.