Blu-ray Review: Sweet, Good-Natured ‘Our Idiot Brother’ With Paul Rudd

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CHICAGO – “Our Idiot Brother,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a light, good-natured comedy with a stellar ensemble that doesn’t quite click into place as a truly stand-out entry in the genre but features such a positive tone and overall message that it’s a difficult movie for which to mount too much of an offense against. The cast is so incredibly likable and so is the overall theme of the movie that it’s easy to approach like its title character and just go with the flow. Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Rudd plays the hippie Ned, the kind of guy who helps out a uniformed police officer having a very bad day by selling him some weed. Yes, he’s an idiot, but he means incredibly well almost every time he’s acting like one. He goes to jail for awhile and comes out to find that his girlfriend has not only left him but that she’s taking the dog, Willie Nelson, with her. Lost even more than usual, Ned bounces around from family member to family member and impacts each of their high-strung lives.

Our Idiot Brother
Our Idiot Brother
Photo credit: Anchor Bay

Ned has three sisters who couldn’t be less like their societally questionable brother. All three are in serious states of something that Ned seems to know nothing about — denial. Ned is deemed an “idiot” because he acts without artifice. He says what he means, even when he probably shouldn’t. Some might say he doesn’t have tact, but the movie makes a strong case that Ned’s way of looking at the world would free most of us from the burdens of stressful lives. Ned shatters routines and it might not be a bad idea for a few “non-idiot” people to have their routines shattered.

Our Idiot Brother was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 29th, 2011
Our Idiot Brother was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 29th, 2011
Photo credit: Anchor Bay

Ned spends most of his time with sister Liz (Emily Mortimer) and her precocious son River. After ending up with a job on the set of the documentary being shot by Liz’s slimy husband (Steve Coogan), Ned detonates a bomb in that family that would have gone off eventually. He moves on to the world of sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), a bisexual caught between her partner (Rashida Jones) and an artist (Hugh Dancy). Of course, Ned gets her to realize that the girl she’s got at home is the one she can’t let get away. Finally, Ned plays something of a matchmaker between his high-strung sister Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and the cute guy who lives downstairs (Adam Scott).

Directed by Jesse Peretz, “Our Idiot Brother” is the definition of light comedy. It gently strolls down the street, smiling and whistling a Grateful Dead song. I wish it had a bit more gravity and a bit more density to its storytelling but it’s likably carried by its immensely talented cast. If you like anyone involved, especially Rudd, you’ll probably feel the same way.

Paul Rudd stars in this witty and highly relatable comedy about that one family member who is always just a little behind the curve. For sisters Liz (Emily Mortimer), Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), that person is their perennially upbeat brother Ned, an organic farmer whose willingness to rely on the honesty of mankind is a less-than-optimum strategy for a tidy, trouble-free existence. Ned may be utterly lacking in common sense, but he is their brother and so, after his girlfriend dumps him and boots him off the farm, his sisters once again come to his rescue. As Liz, Emily and Natalie each take a turn at housing Ned, their brother’s unfailing commitment to honesty creates more than a few messes in their comfortable routines. But as each of their lives begins to unravel, Ned’s family comes to realize that maybe, in believing and trusting the people around him, Ned isn’t such an idiot after all.

Special Features:
o Feature Commentary with Director Jesse Peretz
o Deleted and Extended Scenes
o Making Of Our Idiot Brother

“Our Idiot Brother” stars Paul Rudd, Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Rashida Jones, Hugh Dancy, Adam Scott, and Steve Coogan. It was directed by Jesse Peretz and released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 29th, 2011. It is rated R. content director Brian Tallerico

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