Sometimes, you see a trailer for some film that doesn’t exactly seem all that interesting but the cast kind of intrigues you. That’s how I was with this one. Paul Rudd stars in this film as “Our Idiot Brother”, with some stellar support by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer. I’m not sure why but this film actually kind of reminds me of “Crazy Stupid Love”. Maybe it’s just the feel of the film, but there’s a definite similar style going on here between these 2 films.
Anyway, so the title says it all, right? These 3 sisters have an idiot for a brother, and from the trailer we can gather he’s a stoner. It’s billed as a comedy and you are expecting it to be filled with just a bunch of dumb mistakes made by the brother. Happily, you’d be wrong about these assumptions. How do I know? Because I felt and thought the exact same thing, that’s how. First up, this isn’t a comedy. It is definitely more dramatic than I was expecting. Secondly, the title is a big mislead because Rudd doesn’t play some half-baked loafer that makes dumb moves. Instead, he plays an innocent that is one of the sweetest and kind-hearted characters I’ve seen in film since “Forrest Gump”. (At no point is the message that he is so innocent because he smokes weed, and I think that’s important.)
The film just presents this poor guy that is just trying to get back on his feet and get back his dog. You’ll root for Rudd and he kind of bumbles into the lives of his sisters and tends to speak when he should be silent. The real message of the film though is about how his 3 sisters get so wrapped up in their own lives that they become completely mean-spirited and insensitive to their brother and they lose sight of what really matters. I liked how the film’s story played out and I honestly felt that Rudd was kind of amazing in this movie. I’ve always liked him, and I really saw him as an actor here. A lot of the films he is in are pretty silly, so I guess I have always seen his comedic side. This role was a lot different.
All in all, “Our Idiot Brother” is surprisingly uplifting with its message and a nice show of a family coming together. You know how old fashioned some elements of this film are? It adds to the film to have Family Game Night turn into one heck of a melt-down scene! In the end, I thought the message was clear and uncompromising: just because people are honest and very caring, that doesn’t make them a loser. Maybe people should lie less and speak more of what they really hold in their hearts? I feel a lot of time people get too caught up in being busy with life that they truly forget how to live it. It was refreshing to see a film actually go against the grain and the bulk of society and show a really honest person as the main character. That was really enjoyable!
Some of the material in the film is not suitable for younger audiences, and some parents might balk at the thought of letting children take karate. All of that aside though, I think this is a surprising hit and a pretty entertaining bit of cinema. Enjoy this one when you can!
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE
- Our Idiot Brother (reelryan.com)