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Our Idiot Brother

Our Idiot Brother: Happy & Goofy Comedy with Great Cast

  • Elizabeth BanksEmily Mortimer...
  • ComedyDrama
  • Out now
  • Jesse Peretz
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Our Idiot Brother: Happy & Goofy Comedy with Great Cast

Ned (Rudd) is an organic
farmer and idealistic optimist. He treats people the way he’d like to be
treated, thinks the best of everyone and is overly trusting. Basically, he’s
the definition of sunny and nice to the point of naivety.

He unwittingly sells weed to a
police officer after thus
landing himself in jail. Upon being let out of the slammer he finds that his
girlfriend has kicked him out of the house, shacked up with a new guy and kept the dog, Willie Nelson, to boot. Desperately missing his dog
and with nowhere to go, he ends up bouncing around between his mum and three
sisters’ houses depending on how much havoc he’s managed to accidentally wreak on
each person’s life.

The characters are the film’s
high point. Each one is messed up in their own way, be it Ned or any one
of his three sisters; Miranda (Banks), Natalie (Deschanel) and Liz (Mortimer).
Yet because the three women’s lives follow a conventional pattern and because
they manage to project this image of having their lives together, they feel
justified in berating Ned for being messed up himself.

Rudd does a great
job of portraying a rather naive, militantly optimistic guy with a complete
lack of brain-to-mouth filter. However, his idiocy only surfaces occasionally,
and when it does they are staggering displays of absurdity like the
aforementioned selling weed to a uniformed policeman stunt.

Deschanel is hilarious as a
sexually confused stand-up comic whose audience is
compromised of charitable family members. Banks is delightfully scathing as the
super bossy, power hungry journalist who has no problems ignoring her morals
for the sake of a scoop. Finally, Mortimer is stuck in a marriage
with a selfish, pompous, cheating husband (Coogan) with ridiculously high
expectations for his family.      

While highly charming and
very funny, the film feels simultaneously stuffed due to the many characters,
and wispy due to the lack of focus in dealing with their story arcs. However,
the only outright terrible part of the movie is the classic Hollywood routine of
uglifying a gorgeous girl by slapping a pair of butt-ugly glasses on her. Memo
to Hollywood: there’s absolutely no way that hideous glasses could manage to
make Rashida Jones look anything less than stunning!

By the time you’ve finished
watching this film, a huge, goofy grin will have taken over your face and
you’ll have been brainwashed into a rainbows, cupcakes and unicorns view of the
world. In other words, there’s a risk of turning into a (temporary) version of

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360 Tip

Keeping in theme with the hippie main character, the soundtrack is mainly composed of folk songs and fits perfectly with the movie. Willie Nelson, as Ned’s dog’s namesake, features on it prominently.  

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