Our Idiot Brother – Review

Score: 2/5 – Paul Rudd’s charm only goes so far

I really like Paul Rudd and wish I could give Our Idiot Brother a higher score. Looking at the cast, which includes Zoey Deschanel, Rashida Jones, TJ Miller, Steve Coogan, Adam Scott and Elizabeth Banks, I would have thought Our Idiot Brother would be a much funnier movie.

In the movie, Paul Rudd plays Ned. Think of the nicest and most innocent guy you know. Ned is that guy times three. Ned spends the majority of the movie bouncing around the NYC apartments of his three sisters after spending a short stint in jail.

The biggest problem with Our Idiot Brother comes from the script, which renders Ned’s sisters unlikable beyond repair. Ned unwittingly helps them expose and realize their personal and professional problems. They’re problems that none of the sisters want to deal with, so they blame Ned. But they come across as generic animated types, not individuals. There’s the Park Slope liberal mom, the Williamsburg lesbian and the uptight corporate bitch. That’s all you need to know about the three of them because that’s all there is to them. There are characters in this movie you aren’t supposed to like. Ned’s sisters aren’t three of them. But they are all made unlikable by the script. Any scene where they appear without Rudd suffers.

There are funny bits in Our Idiot Brother. I loved the very end of the movie. Any time Rudd and TJ Miller were on screen together was great. Basically, any scene with Rudd is better for it. His boyish charm is stretched to the max in this movie.

Our Idiot Brother needed more Miller time.

The DVD has an alternate ending. It’s good they didn’t go with the original ending. Compared to the theatrical release’s ending, it’s both overly long and far less funny, probably because the focus is divided away from Rudd, who carries this movie from beginning to end on his easygoing charm.