Everything about the promotion of Our Idiot Brother, from the gag-heavy trailer to the poster image of a hippie Paul Rudd in crocs, suggests a fish-out-of-water comedy; a laugh-apalooza about an out-of-it moron attempting to gain some credit in the straight world.
Depending on your taste for out-of-it-moron based humour, you may be disappointed or delighted to find that this is actually a heart-tugging dramedy about a too-honest dreamer and his three domineering sisters.
Admittedly, ‘Our Sorta Sad, Dysfunctional Brother’ doesn’t quite have the same zing to it. In any case, it’s an easy, enjoyable watch that surprisingly skipped a UK cinema release.
Ned (Rudd) is a happy-go-lucky organic farmer slash weed dealer who was busted for selling his home-grown to a cop and sent to prison. Suddenly he finds himself on probation and set adrift in a cruel world that isn’t able to understand his simple, stress-free way of life.
Help is at hand from his three increasingly uptight sisters: bisexual stand-up comic Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), snooty Vanity Fair writer Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), and Liz (Emily Mortimer), a harried housewife trying to get her marriage back on track. They all try in their own ways to get Ned to grow up and join the rat race; he has some life lessons to impart to them in return.
Rudd’s beatific grin and Jesus-commune beard are basically all that Jesse Peretz’s film has stashed in its comic arsenal.
But it’s also undeniably sweet and heartfelt, with some of the more shrill characters offset by the ever-dependable Rudd at his most chilled and charming.
It’s also worth seeing for Natalie’s girlfriend Cindy’s (Rashida Jones) amazing nerdy outfits.
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