Quick thoughts on “Our Idiot Brother”

I want to write a quick review of the movie I have just seen, “Our Idiot Brother.” I would like to, but I am conflicted. And I’m not the only one…. The critics are across the board in their reviews. My conflict is that I agree with all of them. Those who hated it mention that this movie is a family drama mis-billed as a comedy. Those who loved it state the brilliant performance of the title character played by Paul Rudd. Like several other movies that were released this year, the female characters are portrayed in a mostly negative light. In this case, it’s Ned’s (Rudd) three sisters, plus his ex-girlfriend that are all cardboard cutout, one-dimensional villainesses, who are there to clearly point out that it is not Ned who is an idiot, but rather it is his child-like innocence and naiveté that is in conflict with the deceitful, dishonest and manipulative lifestyles that the “grown ups” live in the Big City. The male characters, save the documentary maker who is cheating on his wife, are all cast in a sympathetic light. With a 90 minute runtime, the ending seems forced and rushed. It is at the climax where the movie lost me. Spoiler alert:  when kind natured Ned drops not one, but two F-Bombs  in consecutive scenes seemed forced and overkill – pun intended.

The script needed more tweaking – it is a credit to the talented cast that this film is watchable at all. But this is Rudd’s vehicle, and he does carry the load. Too bad that the load happens to be a load (of you-know-what.) I can’t think of any other actor that could have pulled off this wonderful performance of making Ned seem so likeable. I want to like this; I want to recommend this. But like Ned, I have to be honest to a fault. There are too many faults. My grade: C-.


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