Nordling Says OUR IDIOT BROTHER Is Funny And Sweet!
Pual Rudd doesn't exactly play an idiot in OUR IDIOT BROTHER, released today. His Ned is incredibly naive, trusting, and probably too optimistic for this world, but he's not really an idiot. However, his trusting nature constantly gets him into trouble, whether it's selling weed to a uniformed police officer - "I've had a really bad week," the officer tells Ned, and Ned feels sympathy for him before making the sale - or believing his brother-in-law (Steve Coogan) when he tells Ned it's for his documentary film that he be naked when he shoots his ballet dancer subject. Ned is one of God's special children, and Paul Rudd plays him with humor and sympathy. It's the kind of performance that looks effortless to pull off, but Rudd walks a real tightrope here - too far to either side and he falls flat. It's a testament to his acting abilities that he's completely believable as this good-natured doofus who rolls with whatever life throws his way.
His sisters, however, can't seem to go through life with any kind of simplicity. Liz (Emily Mortimer) is married to Coogan, and she's given up on their marriage, content to raise their son in an insulated bubble. Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) is a lesbian who just might be bisexual, and her relationship with attorney Cindy (Rashida Jones) is getting increasingly complicated because of it. Finally, Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) is given her first big story at Vanity Fair, and she desperately doesn't want to screw it up. Her relationship with best friend Jeremy (Adam Scott) seems to be growing into something more and she doesn't know how to handle it. Due to the events of the pot bust, Ned storms through their lives and leaves havoc in his wake, and the sisters are forced to deal with the complications of their relationships because of it.
OUR IDIOT BROTHER is one of those quiet comedies that gets ignored while louder, more obnoxious films take center stage. But Jesse Peretz (who worked with Paul Rudd before in THE CHATEAU) deftly manages all the plots and subplots into a cohesive whole. All Ned wants is to get his dog Willie Nelson back from his ex (Kathryn Hahn) and everything would be copacetic. But he's ill-equipped to deal with things outside his worldview.
One of the best things about Rudd's perfromance is that even with all the familial strife, he remains unfazed and happy, and that happiness is infectious. It's his performance that centers the film. The three sisters could come across as very hateful and unsympathetic but Mortimer, Deschanel, and Banks all manage to avoid that pitfall. You can see how Ned would come to be the way he is through his sisters' lives. They seem to feed on drama, and Ned will have none of it, rejecting their lifestyles for something that works for him, ambitionless as it may be. This is the kind of film that you'll be able to see the end coming from a long ways off, but the journey there is so pleasant and funny that you won't mind the predictability of the plot.
OUR IDIOT BROTHER is a minor key kind of film, one that could easily slip through the cracks among other Hollywood properties. But Paul Rudd's performance is nuanced, subtle, and yet still hilariously funny, and he's worth the price of admission alone. Rudd is one of our finest comedic actors, and he's a treat in OUR IDIOT BROTHER.
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Aug. 26, 2011, 12:34 p.m. CST
That's a movie I'd like to see... :)
Aug. 26, 2011, 12:35 p.m. CST
Rudd is definitely under-appreciated, though he seems to be on every late night rerun on TNT.
Aug. 26, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST
Fuck this Paul Rudd shit, I want to see THAT movie!!
Aug. 26, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST
Aug. 26, 2011, 12:55 p.m. CST
a regular guy that you could hang out with and have a beer.
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST
The scene where he has to put away the lunch tray that he knocked on the ground is his crowning achievement.
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST
Well thats just like your opinion, man
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:20 p.m. CST
by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi
Take for instance, this sentence: All Ned wants is to get his dog Willie Nelson back from his ex (Kathryn Hahn) and everything would be copacetic. Change a few words, and you've got: All Dude wants is to get his rug back from the Big Lebowski (David Huddleston) and everything would be copacetic. Uncanny. Still, sounds a lot better than most of the crap that passes for comedy these days.
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
He could turn any lesbian straight.
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:34 p.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST
Rudd should be wallowing in sitcom hell somewhere with the equally-overrated Seth Rogen.
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:43 p.m. CST
You're becoming one of my more trusted critics on this site. Not that should you give a fuck, considering that the approval of a single talkbacker on this site is worth about as a much as the respect of a brain-damaged howler monkey, but yeah. Figured I'd let you know.
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:49 p.m. CST
by Cletus Van Damme
Aug. 26, 2011, 1:58 p.m. CST
THOSE FUCKING SAVAGES. I am OUTRAGED.
Aug. 26, 2011, 2 p.m. CST
It looks like some kind of bronze helmet that's absorbing her skull. I am OUTRAGED.
Aug. 26, 2011, 2:01 p.m. CST
by Col. Tigh-Fighter
Aug. 26, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST
He's funniest when he's not trying too hard to be funny and has these subtle wise cracks.
Aug. 26, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST
It's like it's two different guys. I saw Anchorman like four times before I realized it was him. Some guys grow a beard or put on a prop beard, and you're like, "Oh look, it's Wil Ferrell with a beard," but Rudd grows a beard and you're like, "This hobo killed and ate Paul Rudd!" Seriously, if this acting thing doesn't work out, Rudd could just grow a beard, go out and rob banks, and then shave so he gets off scot-free.
Aug. 26, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST
Aug. 26, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST
...and rent Peter Sellers' BEING THERE. Same movie...better conduit. --G
Aug. 26, 2011, 2:32 p.m. CST
What Elizabeth Banks movie?
Aug. 26, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST
He's an idiot in the sense that he doesn't lie or cheat. He doesn't calculate the odds on getting away with things. He trusts people. He always tells the truth. Wasn't there a study proving that human society would collapse if we didn't lie?
Aug. 26, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST
This movie wouldn't work without Paul Rudd. He walks such a fine line. He has to be nice, but not a fool. Sweet, but not saccharine. http://tinyurl.com/3rpk3rq (Don't you love when the talkback system eats half your post?)
Aug. 26, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST
by Ted Knight
Just another slacker movie. One of thousands. Once again it proves they have run out of plot ideas (many years ago) in Tinsel Town. Then again, there are only five or six basic movie plots anyway. They just keep changing the names and locations.
Aug. 26, 2011, 5:37 p.m. CST
He's actually really creepy in that movie.
Aug. 26, 2011, 9:43 p.m. CST
by Andrew Coleman
Why do you come to a movie nerd site? If all movies for years have been the same six movies with just different characters and locations... Why do you care? Why come here and read and comment about movies? Unless you're full of shit. Which I'm suspecting is the case. MIB(Not Men In Black) looked good but not really special enough for me to check out in theaters. A rental for sure... This review kind of swayed me to check it out in theaters though... Will see...
Aug. 27, 2011, 1:48 a.m. CST
Aug. 28, 2011, 6:58 p.m. CST
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