Movie Review: Our Idiot Brother

By Stephen Rebello

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Fresh out of jail for selling pot to an on-duty cop, an organic farmer bounces from the house of one dysfunctional sister to another.


Director: Jesse Peretz Rating: R Studio: Big Beach Films

It won’t surprise anyone that Paul Rudd is a an endearing, inventive comic dervish in Our Idiot Brother, a warm, rambling tale of a sweet natured, trusting organic farmer and his loving, dysfunctional sisters played by Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel. It also won’t surprise most anyone that the movie built around Rudd’s dim-bulb, big-hearted character is fun, good natured and very well acted but just not up to his level.

Jesse Peretz (Inportant Things with Demetri Martin) directed the comedy based on a script he co-wrote with Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall about a guileless dude sprung from eight months of jail time for selling pot to an on-duty cop at a farmer’s market. Broke and at loose ends, he gets dumped by his irredeemably mean hippie girlfriend (Kathryn Hahn) and gets passed from uptight sister to sister, each of whom is in crisis mode herself. There’s bickering between sex-driven, aimless Deschanel and her focused, highly professional lover Rashida Jones, for instance, just as there is coldness between married mom Mortimer and her loathsome, self-involved documentarian husband, Steve Coogan. If plot-wise there isn’t all that much new being cooked up here, the invaluable, endlessly creative Rudd’s interactions with a gallery of terrific actors carry the day.

About the Author

Playboy Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello has written many Playboy Interview and 20 Questions features. He is the author of such books as the notorious Bad Movies We Love (with Edward Margulies) and Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the latter of which has inspired a dramatic feature film set for production in 2012. His most recent Playboy Interviews include Josh Brolin and Cameron Diaz.


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