Movie Review: Our Idiot Brother

Posted on December 22, 2011. Filed under: Movies, Personal Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Ever since Clueless I have been a big fan of Paul Rudd. He is just my kind of fellow, don’t know how else to describe it! I usually do my best to catch all of his movies as they hit DVD, I’m not much of a theatre-goer otherwise I would definitely check them out there. Netflix finally delivered Our Idiot Brother to my home – and what a joy! The movie was a comedy but also a bit of a life lesson. We all have these people in our lives that we look for and we look to but can sometimes we such an incredible inconvenience but in the end we appreciate them and grow to love them as they are, that is My Idiot Brother.

Paul Rudd, playing Ned, starts the movie getting arrested for distributing drugs to a police officer. He lived on an organic farm with his dog and his hippie girlfriend. It is clear from the arrest forward that he doesn’t have quite as much going for him as one would expect. His family immediately comes to his rescue offering shelter, food, love and support. It is clear that the family is a bit off though and has a plethora of issues themselves. His three sisters are all striving for something completely different in life. One, Zoeey Deschanel, is a lesbian, but maybe more of a sexually charged bisexual, or maybe straight, but she really wants to be a lesbian. Another sister, Elizabeth Banks, is a journalist and is the highest reacher of all the siblings. She wants to make it big and really lives an upscale, city, business lifestyle. The oldest sister, Emily Mortimer, is a mom, she is the only married sibling and her husband has a few quirks that immediately make him unlikable to the audience.

Ned is a very happy guy. He has an extremely positive outlook on life and doesn’t get in too deep in anything. He takes everything on the surface and does his best to really roll with the punches. His brother-in-law gives him a job working as an assistant as he films a documentary. Ned does his best to go along with but never seems to do things good enough for his brother-in-law. He exposes their children to television and games they would prefer their kids don’t see and quickly lands himself getting shoved out of their house and onto the next sister’s home.

He spends time in each of his sister’s homes and one by one manages to mess up the one thing that they each seemed to have wanted the most: a valuable relationship, a career advancement and a happy family. Ned doesn’t see these as his fault but really focuses in on dishonesty, lack of morals and ethics and a lack of trust. Ned makes a really great point for each of these things. With time his sisters do internally reflect a bit on his actions and the reactions and make peace with what has changed in their lives. It really seems like they for once open their eyes to their behavior and internalize what could make their lives better, stronger and more fulfilling and how to see life a little more through the rose-colored lenses that Ned has on. In Ned’s time of need his sisters pull through – you cannot beat a strong family bond, especially when you see that your ‘idiot’ brother was really trying to do his best.

It was a really funny movie with some great lines. Through the humor and strange situations there are some great messages and if you view it at the right time there are definitely things I could reflect on that each of the sisters did that I may also be guilty of, giving me just a small dose of a life lesson. It was a fun, entertaining movie that certainly did not drag on at all. I really enjoyed it and if you see it – I hope you do too! Keep on rocking Paul Rudd!

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Movie Debriefing: I Love You Man

Posted on September 17, 2009. Filed under: Movies, Personal Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Man, I love you too! That was my thought after I finished this movie. It is an awkward guy comedy. There are many scenes where you feel like a slight intruder into their lives and then there are other scenes where their awkwardness makes you feel awkward but since we’re feeling awkward maybe that makes it ok?

This movie has the typical ‘guy comedy’ including silly sexual jokes and air guitar (who isn’t a fan of air guitar?!). It also features a great, but generally less honored band, as the male character’s bonding moments. I speak of awkwardness and what makes this movie awkward is some of the character development. Paul Rudd is given the part of a man with no friends, which is a strange concept, especially since he seems really loveable. The plot for this movie is that Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is marrying the love of his life Zooey played by Rashida Jones but he has no friends to be in the wedding party. His father, JK Simmons, has a few best friends including Peter’s brother Robbie (Andy Samberg) but Peter has none which is a long-running family joke. Peter’s fiance has a bunch of girl-friends who think he is not only clingy but weird for not being as friendly with men as he is with women. Peter’s mission is to find a male best friend, hopefully a few, to be at his wedding with him.

Enter Jason Segel as Sydney. Sydney is a smooth operator who’s funny, open and more than happy to have Peter as a friend. Peter is awkward, and doesn’t quite know how to fit-in in Sydney’s world but Sydney accepts and loves him anyway. The two not only hit it off but seem to spend countless hours together making up for time lost, it’s their times together that prove to be the most comical. The overall concept of the movie is a bit comical as well because everyone wants to help Peter find best friends, finding friends and ‘trying them out’ provides many laughs throughout the movie; we’re laughing at you Peter, not with you…

What was surprising about this movie was how well it came together. There was romance, there was comedy, plot twists and even the Hulk were included. What was even better was this movie was under 2 hours which is great; imagine all of that in under 2 hours. Some of these comedies seem to take what feels like days, but this one was short and sweet and really never got to the point where you were just hoping it would all wrap up and end. It’s worth renting if you’re in the mood for some quick, no-thinking required laughs. I’d watch it again, not tonight of course, but in the future if I pass by it on TV I would definitely stop and give it my time.

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