“OUR IDIOT BROTHER” (Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks & Zooey Deschanel)
Paul Rudd was on Chelsea Lately & Ms. Handler called this movie ‘hilariously funny’. That’s not going to help, Chelsea, because if anyone goes to this film expecting it to be hilarious, they will be greatly disappointed. It isn’t even hilarious by accident. I’m not certain if it was even intended to be a comedy – but it is worth seeing because of the interaction with the characters that Paul Rudd & Elizabeth Banks play as brother & sister.
There are two other sisters, a brother-in-law & a mom, but I liked the relationship Ned (Rudd) had with Miranda (Banks)
Ned isn’t an ‘idiot’ – he’s naive. He’s too trusting. He’s ‘dim’. He’s likeable. But the word I think describes him best is ‘sweet’. Ned is just a sweet, lovable guy that can’t help but be sweet and lovable to everyone he meets. Unfortunately this also includes deceptive police officers. In the opening scene, Ned is arrested for selling pot to a uniformed policeman because he said he was having a ‘tough week’. Ned doesn’t WANT to sell weed to the man – he wants to GIVE it to him, but the officer refuses Ned’s charitable gesture & insists on paying for it. Ned’s biggest concern when the handcuffs are slapped on him is what’s going to happen to his dog – A golden retriever named Willie Nelson. Willie is turned over to Ned’s soon-to-be ex-girlfriend who keeps the dog out of spite.
When Ned is released from prison he moves in with mom. Mom is almost as sweet as Ned & that drives Ned to move in with his older sister Liz despite objections from her husband (Steve Coogan) Ned plays with Liz’s young son while she tends to her newborn baby. All Ned does is tell the truth – he makes no accusations, he doesn’t say anything to be a gossip – he just reveals to Miranda that their brother-in-law has the unusual habit of working in the nude with his latest subject – a Russian ballerina.
Ned then moves in with Miranda and once again gets the boot for being honest with Miranda & her friends & co-workers.
When he moves in with lesbian sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) & her lawyer girlfriend (Rashida Jones) whom Ned quickly befriends, she tells him he should just take Willie Nelson from his ex-girlfriend.
That endeavor doesn’t work out so well.
There is, one hilarious moment – which I can’t repeat here, nor should I, it would definitely be a spoiler. The line comes from Ned’s young nephew & it follows the scene where Ned tells the boy, “I want you to tell your mom, and your aunts something for me...”
The hairdos & some of the costumes made me think this film was set in the mid-70’s, but no it’s supposed to be in modern times. It IS mildly amusing, but mostly it’s just a sweet little movie about a sweet guy with 3 non-sweet, but well meaning sisters. It is worth seeing, as are almost all of Paul Rudd’s films (except “How Do You Know?” with Jack Nicholson – THAT was crap!)
I thought of Ned & Willie Nelson as being very much alike – they’re both just sweet & lovable, & as Miranda relates, “Ned gives love unconditionally” . . . just like a dog.