Review of "Our Idiot Brother (DVD)"

published 05/01/2017 | thedevilinme
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"A comedy without laughs"

Our Idiot Brother (DVD)

Our Idiot Brother (DVD)

This inane comedy lives up to its title

Star – Paul Rudd
Genre – Comedy
Run Time – 90 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Awards – Nominations & Wins
Amazon – £2.85 DVD £7.07Blue Ray
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So the joke goes that the comedian is stood on the stage and does his routine only to be greeted by silence. Finally he hears a clapping sound. Squinting through the glare of the spotlight, cigarette smoke and the dark he thanks the person applauding, only to be greeted by the chap responding saying he was ‘hitting the bottom of the sauce bottle’. I know how both parties feel watching movies like this. It was one of those films that only got made because a big star (in this case Paul Rudd) agreed to do it because its one of his mates is directing and their comedian mates want to be in it. Without names a script like this doesn’t even get used to light studio executive cigars. There are one too many of these films around in America right now. I have watched most of them.

There is no doubt Paul Rudd is positioning himself as the next Owen Wilson/ Ben Stiller type comedic leading man and has done his time with the Seth Rogen-Judd Apatow universe and trying to make it on his own the way in the way Steve Carrell did doing mildly intelligent romcom movies. All have tried to move away from comedy and do more serious melancholic stuff but sure to be back with their tail between their legs, as will Rudd if he over complicates and gets rather too subtle with what he is good at.

Cast

Paul Rudd ... Ned
Francesca Papalia ... Sadie
Elizabeth Banks ... Miranda
Peter Hermann ... Terry
Adam Scott ... Jeremy
Rashida Jones ... Cindy
Zooey Deschanel ... Natalie
Emily Mortimer ... Liz
Steve Coogan ... Dylan
Kathryn Hahn ... Janet
T.J. Miller ... Billy
Shirley Knight ... Ilene

Plot


Ned (Paul Rudd), a biodynamic farmer (organic with a twist), lives with his girlfriend Janet (Kathryn Hahn) in rustic upstate New Hampshire. While selling produce at a local market, the rather happy-go-lucky and extremely gullible Ned sells marijuana to a uniformed police officer who spins him a yarn about being overworked and so what have you got’ under the counter’ to combat stress. Ned is then arrested on a charge of selling drugs, for which he does 12 months.

Ned has three sisters. Pretty Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) is a journalist for Vanity Fair trying to get a breakthrough article published. She is hopeless at finding a man to keep her interest but her neighbor, Jeremy (Adam Scott), has secret feelings for her and vice versa. His second sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) is an independent, bisexual hipster living with her girlfriend, Cindy (Rashida Jones), and a hippy pad full of roomies. Liz (Emily Mortimer), the oldest sister, is married to Dylan (Steve Coogan), a snobby documentary filmmaker. Their marriage is failing because Dylan likes to bonk his female subjects. Their son River (Matthew Mindler) is extremely unhappy and unable to express himself because of mum and dads marriage issues.

Ned is released from jail and returns home to his girl and his dog ("Willie Nelson"). But she has moved on and living with Billy (T. J. Miller), and no longer wishes allow Ned to work at the farm, and keeping the dog. Billy gives Ned a ride into town and tells him that if he can scrape together $500, Janet ‘may’ let him stay in the goat barn for rent on the farm. Ned is up for that and stays at his mother's which he is less than enthusiastic about, soon asking to stay at Liz's house. He is put in River's room and told that he must chuck in around the house and work with Dylan on his newest documentary about pretty Russian ballerina named Tatiana (Lydia Haug), which Dylan is sleeping with.

Once Ned is unleashed into his sister’s world the chaos ensues and his very honest persona and the fact he is unable to keep a secret sees all the relationships around him quickly under strain. He seems to have a history of this and soon the sisters turning on him for spoiling everything with some home truths. But how can he make it right and more importantly, how to get Willie Nelson back?
Results

Funny this comedy is not. I chuckled once or twice but the whole thing too subtle and light for me. Rudd creates this likeable and naïve idiot character and then wastes him. It feels like the script has been altered to cater for all the bigger comedy stars in the film and the better jokes ripped out. Its nota stoner comedy though so don’t expect that annoying drugs are cool Judd Atapow thing here.
Director Jessie Peretz is from TV and this only his fifth movie in 20-years and so the TV approach maybe restricting him. It feels like a sitcom at times. But he worked on successful shows ‘Girls’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ and Nurse Jackie.

It cost $5 million to make and did $25 million back so a decent returns for mid budget grown up comedy. But it’s nothing special and dare I say boring, which is annoying, considering the cast and set up. The producers would have been better off spraying the DVD cover pink and have Rudd lean on a lamppost with a female lead to sell this. I was hoping for a bit of Dumb and Dumber but instead we got that tired American sitcom feel with a bland script and a lost premise. There is no sense of irony here and you are expected to laugh at the set up, and Rudd’s distinct lack of material to work with shows early on. He wanders through this movie and picks up the paycheck. The whole thing is unmemorable, unsophisticated and all rather tedious and one you will be reaching for the remote control on.

RATINGS


Imdb.com – 6.4 /10.0 (76,245votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 68% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 60% critic’s approval

Trailer

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637706/videoplayer/vi3651902489?ref_=tt_ov_vi

Special Features


-Deleted Scenes –

Quite a few

-Extended Scenes-

Quite a few

-Behind the scenes-

Cast & Crew talk up their dull movie.


Critics

Globe & Mail –‘Strange, then, how Our Idiot Brother wastes its lone asset -- there's not enough idiot, and far too many boring savants’.

The Independent –‘Lugubrious, bumbling and sit-com predictable, Our Idiot Brother has a couple of good ideas, no style, an episodic structure and some charming incidental pleasures, not the least of which are the performances, which are good’.

The Tribune –‘Rudd can play the innocent as well as the snarky cynic, and that serves him wonderfully here.

The Mail –‘The sometimes mediocre and rote script never falls too far in quality because of the charm of the cast’..

New York Post –‘The film goes far on its good nature, though it is never more than gently funny’.

Washington Post –‘Rudd has created a genuinely engaging character in the Candide-like Ned, but "Our Idiot Brother" gives him very little garden to cultivate’.

Salon.com –‘.It's a warm, intelligent and highly contemporary comedy with just the right amount of edge, a terrific ensemble cast and a big, fuzzy golden retriever ready to knock you down and lick you like a giant lollipop/

The NY Times –‘'Cute' is probably not the word one would expect to attach to a film with this title, but there is no more apropos term for its gentle comic charm.’

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Comments on this review

  • Saraa23 published 24/01/2017
    Great
  • euphie published 15/01/2017
    vh :o)
  • bettyboo47 published 06/01/2017
    light entertainment at best I guess!!
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Product Information : Our Idiot Brother (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Main Language: English

Production Year: 2011

DVD Region: DVD

Classification: 12 years and over

Director(s): Jesse Peretz

Actor(s): Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Zooey Deschanel

Video Category: Feature Film

EAN: 5017239197468

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