“Our Idiot Brother” features Paul Rudd as Ned, a peaceful idealist who believes that, when treated with trust and kindness, his fellow man will rise to the occasion and return the love. It’s essentially a comedy about how un-accepting the world can be of people who are genuinely nice.
The trailer bills the movie as yet another nonsensical comedy, and while it’s not without its silliness, there’s more to it than just an harmless idiot messing situations up onscreen. The writing is clever, and manages to be quite funny, even in the supposedly serious scenes. During the moments in which the film takes a heavier tone, with unwanted pregnancies, adultery, and various other shennanigans, it doesn’t stay somber for long – there is a certain amount of dark humor that offsets those scenes very nicely. It’s the kind of thing that makes you appreciate that the writing in the movie is more than just a series of jokes, there’s often lesson to be learned behind all of it. That being said, the parts where the audience isn’t learning something about the place of innocence in the modern world are just as hilarious, maybe more so.
The story revolves around Ned (Rudd), who is released from prison after selling marijuana to an officer of the law, and how his seemingly idiotic behavior affects the lives of his three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer). Make no mistake, Ned is fairly stupid, but that’s not the point of the movie, which is about how out of place his kindheartedness is in today’s society.
OIB is definitely a fun, above average, comedy that’s worth a watch for someone looking for something intelligent but accessible. While it may not be entirely successful in tackling the philosophical issues that it puts forth, at least it makes an honest attempt, and has more heart than other similar films that would go for cheap laughs.