Movie Review – Our Idiot Brother

First off, I have to give a shout-out to my friend Jordan. I probably see 75% of all movies with him. For a while, we were seeing really great ones like Black Swan and The Fighter. And then somehow (OK, because of me) we started seeing movies that are just decent (Kung Fu Panda II or The Adjustment Bureau). So, thanks dude, for putting up with that.

Secondly, I mostly like every movie I see, at least when I see it. It normally takes me a good while to decompress and analyze and come to a verdict. Which explains why all my movie reviews are so late as to be basically useless. But anyway, I’m trying to speed that process up.

Our Idiot Brother focuses on Paul Rudd, who despite the title, is not what I would call an idiot, so much as intentionally naive. He sells pot to a cop, but I’d call it entrapment. And he was trying to help a friend. But anyway, after a stint in prison, Paul Rudd is released to the general public. But because his bitchy ex-girlfriend is a bitch, she kicks him out. Poor Paul Rudd is then forced to rely on the charity of his drunk mother, depressed sister, uptight sister, and slutty sister. Hilarity should ensue at this point.

Except that it doesn’t really. I was expecting Paul Rudd to be this like Serendipitous Fairy who stumbles through peoples’ messed up lives and makes them better. Like Elf. Sure, this trope has been done to death, but hey it works.

Instead, the movie goes surprisingly dark. Rather than Depressed Sister being stuck in a rut with a neglectful husband, she’s actually being cheated on and apparently having her hotness and individuality sucked out by his Dark British Powers. Slutty Sister cheats on her hipster lawyer girlfriend and gets pregnant [Oh by the way, spoilers]. And Uptight Sister crosses ethical boundaries to advance her job, which she loses. All of this gets blamed on Paul Rudd, who finally snaps and reveals that he’s not an idiot, he wants to enjoy his life and family.

Luckily, this is a comedy, so Slutty Sister gets back with Rashida Jones [BTW how do you pronounce that? Is it Rash-eeee-da, or Rash-ih-duh, or what? No one can tell me], Uptight Sister realizes her neighbor is her Twue Wuv, and Depressed Sister takes her life into her own hands and is Miss Independent, whoo. So everyone loves Paul Rudd and everyone’s life is better because of him. Just like Elf.

I suppose I admire the attempt to break the traditional, predictable mold, but I really wish they hadn’t. If Depressed Sister’s husband had just been like, career obsessed, maybe Paul Rudd could have like set them up on a sexy date that backfires miserably but still results in nookie. Or like Slutty Sister could have nearly cheated but was interrupted by Paul Rudd, causing her to confess to Hipster Lawyer Rashihduh Jones who is pissed but ultimately forgives her, and they have a lesbian wedding. Or maybe Uptight Sister could have nearly exploited Paul Rudd and her journalistic integrity (which apparently is very important to Vanity Fair?), but realizes she can’t do that to Paul Rudd, the woman the story was about, or herself, and quits her demanding job in a huff of righteous fury and founds her own magazine with Neighbor Boy/Aspiring Writer.

Are you guys tracking with me? Like, there are lighter ways to get an emotional payoff here. You don’t HAVE to go the Fires of Mordor just to get back to the Shire. Maybe going to Moria is enough sometimes. At least in a comedy.

Other than that, the movie was good. Elizabeth Banks should ALWAYS be a brunette and never a sex freak. Zooey Deschanel should NEVER be a bisexual or use profanity, but she’s always gorgeous so whatevs. Paul Rudd should NEVER have long hair or a nasty beard, but he was still the best part of this movie, much like every movie he’s in except Monsters vs. Aliens where he’s a huge douche. Rasheeda Jones is adorable and hot at the same time, even when wearing plaid, jorts, and suspenders.

Snap Judgment – Wait to Redbox it, then see it with friends and maybe a bottle of wine.

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