Paul Rudd shines in a role tailor made for him as “Our Idiot Brother”

“Our Idiot Brother”, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is a very funny movie with Paul Rudd in the title role and a good supporting cast to help back him up.

Ned (Rudd) is a naïve organic farmer who was recently released from prison after selling drugs to a uniformed police office. When he comes back to his farm, he is dumped by his girlfriend (Kathryn Hahn) and refuses to give his dog, Willie Nelson, back to him. With nowhere to live, he asks his sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer) if they can stay with them temporarily. As they take turns taking in Ned, Ned’s honesty causes nothing but trouble for his sisters as their brother begins to unknowingly wreck havoc on their lives.

Actor Paul Rudd has been paired with a variety of comedic actors whether it is as a supporting player with Seth Rogen in “Knocked Up or as a lead actor with Jason Segal in “I Love You, Man”. This movie is a perfect role for Rudd as he is playing a different character that is quite unlike any character that he has played before. While he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, Ned is such a likable character because he is so kind that he even trusts complete strangers to hold a large sum of money for him. Rudd plays with such an easy-going nature that it seems easy to forgive him whenever he gets himself or his sisters in trouble.

While Rudd turns in a good performance as Ned, director Jesse Peretz’s has ensemble a good supporting cast for Rudd to share the screen with including Deschanel, Banks, Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Rashida Jones and Adam Scott. All of these gifted actors have their own individual moments in the movie to shine. However, “Our Idiot Brother” does suffer a bit when it focuses away from the dysfunctional family to show other characters that are one-dimensional and unnecessary whether it is Hugh Dancy as a philandering artist having an affair with Deschanel’s character or T.J. Miller as a hippie farmer whose every sentence always ends with the word “man”.

The familiar character of the accident-prone man child has been seen in many movies like “Step Brothers” and “Dinner with Schmucks”. Even though this film treads on familiar territory seen in those films, “Our Idiot Brother” has a much more believable cast of characters that the audience can easily relate to. However, the trouble with treading on familiar territory is that the story suffers a bit from predictability complete with a lame rip-off ending from “(500) Days of Summer”.

The majority of the comedy films that have come out recently in the summer have been under the R-rating banner. While this movie is also rated-R, there are great comedic moments in “Our Idiot Brother” that did not have to rely on gross-out moments or profane language to make cause me laugh out loud in the movie theater.

Even though the film treads on familiar territory, “Our Idiot Brother” is a funny and fresh film that features Rudd’s best performance to date and a good ensemble cast. 

“Our Idiot Brother”: 4 stars out of 5

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