Our Idiot Movie.
A gentle, gullible soul causes problems for his three sisters with his big mouth.
OUR IDIOT BROTHER is Paul Rudd. Busted for selling dope to a police officer (who was in uniform and asking for dope), Ned (Rudd) has just exited jail, with no job and nowhere to live, so juggles his time between his three sisters, disrupting their lifestyles and families with his idealistic ingenuousness. New Agers may call Ned’s meddling ‘unlocking the emotional unavailability of the sisters.’
As Cartman might say, “Screw you hippies!”
Elizabeth Banks is the upwardly-mobile businesswoman sister who doesn’t see the connection between herself and her young neighbor (Adam Scott) until Ned’s meddling. Sister two: Zooey Deschanel’s lesbian relationship (with Rashida Jones, who played Rudd’s fiancé in I LOVE YOU MAN) is tested when Ned opens his mouth inappropriately. And sister three: Emily Mortimer’s marriage (to Steve Coogan) falters due to Ned revealing her husband’s affair.
Through all the inadvertent tattling, Ned considers his disruptions “breakdowns in communication” between the parties he has just broken down. It’s very annoying and slanted to the hippie mentality. Now I have nothing against the hippie mentality, unless it stands too close to me with its tie-dyed shirt. Ned is portrayed as a simple soul who wants to coast through life with no job, or one that allows him the freedom to do nothing. That’s fine if you’re living in a commune, but he’s out here annoying people like me in the real world.
Kathryn Hahn and T.J. Miller exacerbate the hippie quotient a hundredfold; she’s Ned’s ex-girl tending an organic farm and he’s the new boyfriend, stoned a hundred degrees more than Ned. Any surprise Ned’s golden lab is called Willie Nelson.
During a game of charades, Ned chastises his sisters for their bad moods, which surprises them because he is usually so docile and easygoing. It surprises us as well, because it only proves Ned more incognizant than we first thought, if he doesn’t realize it was his gullibility and tattling that put them in that mood to begin with.
Ned is taken back to jail by his parole officer and though the sisters bail him out, he decides he wants to stay in jail. Now that’s meant to signify Ned’s feelings are so hurt by his sisters that he would rather stay in a place that the rest of us find abominable. But waitaminute – Ned is a drifter, so being IN or OUT of jail are just equal options to him. He is not doing something outre, he’s just choosing a viable option. These writers don’t even understand the mindset of their main character!
But don’t worry, this vapid comedy won’t keep Ned in Movie Jail too long. Written and directed by Jesse Peretz (co-written by Evgenia Peretz), everything and everyone works out fine in the end. The sisters all work through their issues and Ned gets that dead-end, do-nothing job – no, not United States Congressman – making candles with T.J. Miller. And the filmmakers even pair him with a smokin’ chick with a quirky trait, for Movie Closure.
Great. More incognizant strawberry-pot babies imminent. Watch for the sequel: OUR IDIOT CHILDREN.