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Our Idiot Brother

2012-03-23 12:10
What it's about:

Every family has one: the sibling who is always just a little bit behind the curve when it comes to getting his life together. For sisters Liz, Miranda and Natalie, that person is their perennially upbeat brother, Ned – an erstwhile organic farmer whose willingness to rely on the honesty of mankind is a less-than-optimum strategy for a tidy, trouble-free existence.

What we thought:

First of all, let's just get this out of the way: Our Idiot Brother is not a comedy. Although there are a few comedic moments that will result in laughter, the majority of the "funny" moments rather makes you wonder whether you should be laughing or not.

Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man, Role Models) plays Ned. Ned is an earth-loving, organic farming hippie who cannot tell a lie and believes in always giving others the benefit of the doubt. Always being honest can become problematic though, as it does for Ned, who just can't keep "important" secrets to himself. 

And even though he's not good at keeping secrets, his sisters Liz (Emily Mortimer), Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) keep telling him all theirs.

The indie comedy exudes a very similar ease of the complicated and quirky family dynamics seen in Dan in Real Life and Little Miss Sunshine. There's something very real and almost too true to life that keeps creeping up on you.

Ned makes his sisters' life hell, by basically being a complete idiot, but he's also lovable and charming  and his "idiotness" makes everyone's life better in the end.

Paul Rudd's performance is no Oscar winner, but he definitely gets it spot on. Other standout performances in the movie are Zooey Deschanel's portrayal of Ned's lesbian (or bi?) sister and Rashida Jones who plays her butch lawyer girlfriend Cindy.

Ned's silliness becomes the family's saving grace. He brings them closer together and forces them to be honest with each other and themselves.  And as all of them work through their issues, you're left with a comfortable uncomfortable-ness.

Everybody has one.

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