Our Idiot Brother

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link]

[Amazon Link]
(paid link)

A 2011 movie that wormed its way up the Netflix queue. It has a mediocre IMDB user rating, but got a decent reception from critics (67% on the Tomatometer). I was pleasantly surprised: I found it sweet and charming, in a low-key way.

Paul Rudd plays Ned, the Idiot Brother of the title. Although his habits are not made explicit, he has the mellow demeanor of someone whose THC levels are well up there, all the time. This has made him friendly, outgoing, generous, trusting, and (most importantly) dysfunctionally naïve. So much so that he sells weed to a uniformed cop who tells him a semi-plausible sob story. This lands him in the clink, and when he gets out, his previous old lady has taken up with a new hippie and doesn’t want him back on the farm. Also, she keeps his dog, “Willie Nelson.” Dude, that’s mean!

So Ned falls back on family, primarily his three respectable sisters: there’s Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) a wannabe journalist who is letting her career overpower her life; Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), a wobbly lesbian in a relationship with a no-nonsense lawyer (Rashida Jones); and Liz (Emily Mortimer), married to a twit Brit filmmaker (Steve Coogan). Ned’s traits (eventually) drive them all to distraction. But in an amusing way.

It’s rated R, but the raunch is not at the usual level of R-rated comedies (Ted, Pineapple Express, et. al.)

Last Modified 2024-01-27 12:49 PM EDT