Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our Idiot Brother (Movie Review)

Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:49 AM with 9 comments
Our Idiot Brother

Director: Jesse Peretz
Writers: Jesse Peretz and Evegenia Peretz     
Starring: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer

Synopsis from IMDb:

Ned lived a happy life growing organic vegetables on a farm with his hippie girlfriend and his dog named Willie Nelson, but an unadvised incident with marijuana at a farmer's market lands him in jail. When he gets out of jail, he is off to live with his sisters. While Ned is still happy, his sisters are much less so after he manages to screw up one marriage, one job opportunity, one budding relationship and one domestic partnership. He sees those problems as breakdowns in communication, but his sisters see him as an idiot.

I've loved Paul Rudd since he was the adorable love interest in Clueless. His bright, friendly eyes and affable smile--really just everything about him screams: I'M A NICE GUY! In Our Idiot Brother, Rudd plays the epitome of the nice guy. His character, Ned, is so trusting, and wants to believe in the best of everyone he meets, that you aren't surprised when he actually sells pot to a fully uniformed police officer. You are also not surprised when he gets arrested for being such a bone-head. The scene, which opens the movie, sounds unbelievable until you see it. Even though it was such a stupid thing to do, I could see why Ned fell into the jerk-head cop's trap.

After getting released from jail, Ned finds out that his long-time girlfriend, Janet (played by the wonderful Katherine Hahn), has started dating somebody new at the organic hippie farm they used to work on together. Not only is Ned losing his girlfriend, he is also out a job, and Janet is refusing to let him take his dog, Willie Nelson. Distraught, Ned begins to couch hop at his three sister's houses until he can figure out his next step--and to figure out how to get his dog back. 
His three sisters are all going through their own difficulties, and allowing Ned into their homes creates upheaval for all of them. Emily Mortimer's character, Liz, has the "perfect" family life. She has a nice house, a successful documentary-making husband, and two children. When Ned moves in, though, his innocent actions shine a light on the fact that her so-called perfect husband may be sleeping with the dancer he is filming for his latest documentary. With the cracks in her marriage showing, Liz blames Ned for everything and kicks him out. Next up is Zooey Deschanel, Natalie, a girl who cannot seem to commit to her awesome girlfriend, Cindy (Rashida Jones). Again, Ned creates complete upheaval when he accidentally spills a secret to Cindy that Natalie was trying to keep hidden. So, again, he gets the boot. Finally, Elizabeth Banks, Miranda, is a single workaholic who is trying to land the biggest interview of her career. She is close friends with her neighbor downstairs, Jeremy (Adam Scott), and is afraid to admit to even herself that maybe there is more there. Ned unknowingly wrecks havoc in her life through a series of events, as well. So, again, he gets the boot.

Our Idiot Brother is a simple comedy that is elevated by its spectacular cast. Seriously: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Adam Scott! I love each and every person in this cast, and they are all perfect in their roles. I understood why the girls wanted to shake some sense into Ned, but I also just loved how sweet and simple he is. There are so few people in this world who are just happy and who want everyone around them to be happy, too. The film was impossible for me to dislike, even though it is uneven at times, because Ned is so darn likable. While he doesn't always make the best decisions, he isn't the "idiot" his sisters all believe him to be.
Overall, Our Idiot Brother is a fun and funny look at sibling relationships. The movie won't change your life, but if you are looking for a simple comedy to pass the time, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

happy animated GIF
Now on Netflix streaming.


  1. Fun review, Natalie! I really enjoyed this movie, too.

  2. This looks really funny! I LOVE comedies, and the whole accidentally-goes-to-jail thing sounds definitely laugh worthy. Plus I have a brother aaaaand, well, I might relate to those sisters. ;) Haha!

  3. I adore Paul Rudd and Adam Scott so I'll have to watch this soon! In fact, I'm surprised I haven't gotten around to it yet. This movie sounds both adorable and funny! I'll have to watch it this weekend. Thanks for letting me know it's on Netflix, Natalie! :D

  4. I love this movie! I felt really bad for the guy. His actions were so innocent, yet everyone kept kicking him out. :( I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

  5. Oh well, who doesn't love Paul Rudd? I've never seen this movie, but it does sound funny. ;) Great review, Natalie.

  6. I really enjoyed this movie as well. I too love nearly every actor/actress in it though, so I might be a bit biased. :)

  7. I was really tempted by this movie because I LOVE the cast! So I am really happy that you ended up really enjoying this one. I'm sure I have seen this on Netflix so I will definitely be adding this to my To Watch list. I'm actually stopping by as someone linked you up to my Blogger Love post. Thanks for the great movie review :)

  8. Streaming channels would likely kill the movie DVD market, as they had a more massive selection that includes lots of newer films. With high speed internet, it is somewhat inevitable.


Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!