Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Still from Our Idiot Brother
Although it might easily be forgotten in the tide of Blockbusters in our midsts, Sundance Film Festival favourite Our Idiot Brother from Director Jesse Peretz, is one this Summer's more witty Comedies.

Ned (Paul Rudd) is the naïve and under-achieving older Brother to tightly-wound Liz (Emily Mortimer), a career-driven (Elizabeth Banks) and free-spirited (Zoey Deschanel).  After being arrested for selling Marijuana to an undercover Police Officer, Ned serves a minor sentence of three months, before being released from Prison. Things change quickly though for him with his Girlfriend Janet (Kathryn Hahn) leaving him, finding a new Boyfriend Billy (T.J. Miller) and keeping their Dog Willie Nelson. At the same time, he is kicked-out of their Organic Farm House, which in turn makes him homeless.

Ned then turns to his Sisters for support but none of them truly take to his intrusion upon with their private lives. Before long, they begin to find him a nuisance as he unintentionally finds himself caught-up in their affairs. He stirs the tension between Liz and her Husband Dylan (Steve Coogan), manages to both damage both Miranda's relationship with Boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) and a pivotal opportunity at her Vanity Fair job. Also, youngest Sister Natalie finds herself furious after Ned reveals her biggest secret to Girlfriend Cindy (Rashida Jones). But as their stories unfold and all the resentment mounts against Ned who is a convenient Scapegoatwe ponder whether or not he really is at fault and whether he simply is a catalyst to unravelling some deep-seated problems already brewing in his Sisters' own lives.

Peretz teams with his own Sister, Writer Evgenia Peretz, for this unconventional Comedy about an unconventional Family which hits all the right notes to be heartfelt. But does it grab you enough to be as cathartic and rewarding as it could be? Almost.  This fantastic Ensemble Cast play off one another in a showcase of understated performances, especially Rudd who spends much of his screen time being "done-to".  These Characters instead let the hilarity of their individual stories speak on their own. 

Everything unravels in one key moment in the Film where Ned explodes at last after remaining a passive through most of his journey as an eternally optimistic Observer in his Sister's lives. Cute is how I would describe it all. Maple Pictures/Alliance Films release Our Idiot Brother on August 26, 2011. Grade: B+

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