Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our Idiot Brother (2011) - Review

You've gotta love Paul Rudd. If you don't love Paul Rudd, you must be some sort of cyborg trained to hate the purest form of humanity. Probably the most likable 'straight man' in comedies today, he often suffers from the same fate as other straight-laced comedic leads: he goes unnoticed. His deadpan snark routine sadly often flies under the radar and he's really not as well known as he should be. It's disappointing because movies like Our Idiot Brother show that he can completely carry a film and he turns in probably his most earnest performance ever.

One big thing about this "comedy". It isn't one; bad marketing, no doubt, but it's definitely a family drama and not a comedy full of cheap laughs. It's not really very funny at all actually, at least not in the traditional sense of having jokes or hilarious situations. It's funny, and also somewhat sad, because of how trusting Paul Rudd's character Ned really is. He only sees the good in people, and everyone takes advantage of him while he inadvertently screws up his sisters' lives, etc. There are a lot of familiar faces in this including Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Rashida Jones, and they're all great, but the real standout is Rudd himself.

Actually putting a different spin on the typical 'nice guy with a sarcastic streak' he usually plays, Ned is tragically naive and a bit simple, but with a big heart. It sounds cheesy, sure, but it all plays out rather realistically and there are even a couple moments that are actually pretty touching. It does tie up a bit too nicely at the end considering how offbeat it sometimes is, but Paul Rudd sells it all. It's definitely one to check out if you're at all a fan of dramas or Paul Rudd. Or humanity.

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