Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Idiot Brother

"Our Idiot Brother" is another brilliant and hilarious film for the year that was reminiscent of "The Kids Are All Right" (2010) that was perfectly written for Paul Rudd and is complemented by an amazing cast that includes Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott, Zooey Deschanel, and Rashida Jones. The film is directed by Jesse Peretz from a story he developed with his sister, Evgenia Peretz. "Our Idiot Brother" first got on my radar after a successful festival showing at Sundance and after a slight name change will be making it to the masses very soon.

The story centers around Ned (Paul Rudd) who is almost like a fairy tale character in that he has these three sisters that embody the most extreme stereotypes of women, while he remains the innocent, trusting, honest, and loving brother that believes that if you put your trust into someone and give them the benefit of the doubt to see their best intentions that people will rise to the occasion. Sometimes Ned is able to bring out the best in a person, but other times his innocence gets him in trouble with the law and after 9 months in jail he tries to get his feet back under him through the help of his sisters. The first sister, Liz, is played by Emily Mortimer as the doting mother and wife that is unable to properly communicate her emotions to her husband (Steve Coogan). She then pushes Ned off to the next sister, Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), who is more concerned with her career and bullying around the neighbor (Adam Scott). Finally there is Nat (Zooey Deschanel) who is in a loving relationship with Cindy (Rashida Jones) that in her own free spirit makes poor decisions that she too has to deal with.

Paul Rudd brings an obliviousness to Ned that you can't help but feel empathy for. The audience knows what's going to happen but the innocence leaves Ned in the dark. However, it is through his innocence that Ned becomes an unwitting catalyst for change.

Ultimately, this is a story about a guy that loves everything unconditionally more than anyone loves anything. I found the script to be excellent and the performances to be spot on. I would like to see this film receive a nomination for original screenplay. "Our Idiot Brother" is easily a 4 Quack film with potential for a bump after a second screening.

(screening date 8/22/11, release date 8/26/11, location Regal Gallery Place)

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