Cast has chemistry in ‘Our Idiot Brother’

Nice guys are often confused with idiots. They have all of the characteristics of an idiot: they are trust worthy, honest and easy going. That’s exactly the description of the idiot in question. In Our Idiot Brother, Ned (Paul Rudd) is a really nice guy, and a hippy on a run of bad luck. After a stint in prison for selling weed to a uniformed police officer, Ned’s girlfriend leaves him and he’s forced to look to his family for help. He moves in with his mother who wants him to wake up early to go button shopping. Unable to put up with this nonsense, Ned goes on to live with each of his three sisters successively. During this time, he manages to ruin each of their lives.  It is in this ruining that he teaches his sisters about themselves.  In essence, he gives them a chance to grow as people and become closer as a family. 

The best part of this film is its cast. Rudd is a great lead and he is supplemented well by Zooey Deschanel who plays his bisexual sister.   Seeing her make out with the always-amazing Rashida Jones only added to the fun of that role. Jones and Deschanel worked great together as a lesbian couple. While they went through some trials because of Ned’s big mouth, it was Ned who helped to heal their relationship.

Elizabeth Banks is Ned’s sister Miranda. Banks plays opposite Adam Scott who always shines on screen regardless of the size of his roll. Banks and Scott play close friends who have never thought of dating each other. Again, Rudd’s loose tongue causes the two to fight. However, they see the light and realize they have loved one another the whole time.

Finally, Ned’s third sister, Liz, (Emily Mortimer) is married to Dylan (Steve Coogan–yet another great casting decision!) Here Coogan portrays an asshole filmmaker who reluctantly puts Ned to work on his documentary. This ends up being a mistake for him because Ned catches him in the nude with the subject of the documentary and then ruins his sister’s marriage by talking about what he witnessed. If you’re not a fan of two girls kissing, you get a Coogan testicle shot to make up for it!

Seeing Rudd’s interactions with this great cast made the film enjoyable. It was also refreshing to see him play a character a bit different from the norm. Regardless of the excellent casting, it seemed as though the director (Jesse Peretz) couldn’t quite decide between making an all-out comedy or a coming-of-age story. The film was very character driven and we see quite a change in Ned’s sisters while Ned’s main goal is to get his dog, Willie Nelson, back from the previously mentioned ex-girlfriend. While I enjoyed the film, I expected it to be funnier. I still think it’s worth catching to see Rudd in a solid lead role with a slew of other great actors.

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