Monday, January 7, 2013

Mini movie review: Our Idiot Brother

This one I rented hoping Mr. Mouse would like it. A 90-minute movie with Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott and Rashida Jones? What could be wrong with that? Well, part of what's wrong with it is that Our Idiot Brother isn't funny enough to truly be a comedy but is too silly to really be a family drama (which is the other thing it wants to be). Paul Rudd is the titular brother, Ned, a good-natured, well-meaning, largely oblivious lost soul who gets arrested for selling pot to a uniformed cop. When he gets out of jail, his girlfriend has dumped him and kicked him off their organic farm; worse, she refuses to share custody of their dog, Willie Nelson, whom she doesn't really like anyway. Unsure of what to do, and needing both work and a place to stay, Ned crashes in turn with his three sisters: Liz (Emily Mortimer), a harried, overprotective mom married to a British documentary filmmaker/putz (Steve Coogan); Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), a type-A magazine writer desperate to make a name for herself at her job; and Natalie (Deschanel), a free-spirit stand-up comedian (entirely unfunny) who isn't sure she's ready to settle down with serious girlfriend Rashida Jones (who sports some seriously awful eyeglasses). Unsurprisingly, Ned makes things worse for his sisters and then, when they really take a look at themselves and their brother, makes everything better. The story is pretty trite and unoriginal and there are too many cast members - Deschanel hardly gets anything to do. On the plus side, Willy Nelson is quite a cutie-pie.

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