Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our Idiot Brother

The Flick: Our Idiot Brother

The Peeps: Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Rashida Jones, Shirley Knight, Adam Scott, Hugh Dancy, etc.

The Dealio: Rudd plays Ned, the idiot brother of the title. His three sisters: smug, shrill, self-righteous and bigger idiots than Ned, feel a sense of amused botheration when(ever) Ned gets himself into a bind. When he sells dope to a cop who is 'having a really bad week and needs something to help lighten things up', Ned goes to jail, losing his job, his woman and- most heartbreakingly-his doggage. The rest of the movie is about how Ned manages to cut to the heart of every sitch as it crops up, while his sisters, operating from a position of possessing every advantage- manage to mess up their lives, their jobs and their relationships by the numbers. Pity poor Jones, stuck in an underdeveloped, thankless role, who persists in bringing her A game to a D level championship. Ditto Knight, who in movie after movie shows real star power and the ability to rise above the material. She rules as the voice of the no nonsense, but easy-love Mom, who, none the less, cuts to the chase every time and winds up winning the day. Will Ned succeed in finally getting the respect a nature boy who can not tell a lie (No, I mean it. He really. can. not.) rightly has earned? Whaddaya think?

The Grading Session: 4.01 pengies out of 5. There is a good heart at the core of this film. It just doesn't belong to any of the smug, shrewish women who sit in judgement of their brother. If persistent stereotypes annoy the living crap out of you- this is not the flick for you. Try Starman instead: a much better film and vintage Jeff Bridges to boot. Or, no. Wait: The Big Lebowski. Yeah. Either of those for the naif innocent persisting in a world gone horribly brutal thaang.

Notable Quotables: "Do you think these remelted candles are sellable?" "Did you know that he has to strip to interview her? That's how shy she is."

Lessons Learned: Dogs know with whom they belong. If you want unconditional love, it's either a newborn or a dog. Or a newborn dog. Also this: sometimes people so totally do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

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