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November 23, 2011

Movie Review: Our Idiot Brother (2011, Blu-ray)

I’ve grown to really like Paul Rudd. Throughout his career he’s been especially good in supporting roles in films like 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked-Up and Clueless.  Rudd’s resume shows numerous solid comedic performances where he’s played second fiddle or third wheel to Steve Carell, Seth Rogen and Will Ferrell. In last year’s awful Dinner for Schmucks, Rudd stars alongside Carell yet again playing the “straight guy” while Steve Carell brings out in his inner moron. Jesse Peretz’s Our Idiot Brother is Rudd’s most recent comedy vehicle, except this time around - he’s the “schmuck”.

Ned is a pot-loving organic farmer, selling veggies at a vegetable stand with his best pal, a golden retriever named Willie Nelson. His “idiot” side becomes apparent in the opening of the film when he’s caught selling a bag of weed and a rhubarb to a uniformed police officer. The simple life he had going vanishes quickly and Ned is swiftly carted off to jail where he spends several months away from Willie and his girlfriend.
Several months pass, Ned gets out of jail to resume his life and goes to see his girlfriend, Janet (Kathryn Hahn, Step Brothers, Funny or Die), whose become involved with another man and still has his dog.  Now without a place to live and his beloved pooch, Ned’s forced to go leech off of his sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel).

A lot of what makes Our Idiot Brother work are the performances by Mortimer, Banks and Deschanel. All seem to compliment Rudd just perfectly. It's Ned's relationship with his sisters and how Ned infuses himself into their private lives that provides most of the laughs in the film. There's even a few dick-jokes thrown in to keep those looking for a Farrelli Brother's gross-out awake.

My only gripes with Our Idiot Brother are the ending - which I felt could have been executed better - and the fact that there are too many caricatures throughout the movie. Overall, Our Idiot Brother is fun, charming and most importantly entertaining. Recommended.

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