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Aspiring rock musician Neal Downs manages a cereal bar. Stylish Miss Pussy Katz is the creator of radically-themed art clothing. When the cereal bar, brings in an offbeat crew of locals, ... See full summary »
Ned lived a happy life growing organic vegetables on a farm with his hippie girlfriend and his dog named Willie Nelson, but an unadvised incident with marijuana at a farmer's market lands him in jail. When he gets out of jail, he is off to live with his sisters. While Ned is still happy, his sisters are much less so after his honest, but unworldly manner contributes to revelations which manage to expose infidelity in one marriage, potentially illegal actions in one job opportunity, dishonesty in one budding relationship and morally unpleasant behaviour in one domestic partnership. He sees those problems as breakdowns in communication, but his sisters see him as an idiot. The truth the audience witness is that ultimately, Ned is a catalyst for good around him without consciously setting out to do so. The denouement of the film sees balance restored with a positive outcome for all in the family. Written by
As I write this review at the end of August, 2011, I realize it's my last one of a good summer, and the movie, Our Idiot Brother, is a good movie. It's a light-hearted, low-key comedy about a hippie brother Ned (Paul Rudd) returning home from prison for selling pot to a uniformed policeman.
That little episode that put him in jail is not only humorous because of Ned's naiveté but also because of his big heart that would empathize with the seemingly depressed cop and sell him the weed. Ned is a sweet idealist who believes the best about his fellow humans and rarely is disappointed. Although he has been a biodynamic farmer but now doesn't have a job, his real job is turning his family honest, sister by sister, without even trying, without even knowing that his Ibsen-like Wild Duck openness has changed lives for the better.
For instance, when he forces his sister Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) to be honest with her publisher about a source for an important story, she eventually is better for the setback. A little like Forrest Gump with less cluelessness, Ned changes things with the force of his own honesty.
His three sisters are not wicked witches; they're just New Yorkers who have lost their way in marriage, sexual orientation, or plain old occupation. Director Jesse Peretz keeps the cast underplaying as he allows the ripening of their lives through the gentle ministrations of this child-like brother.
While I always favor the outré Royal Tenenbaums or eccentric Little Miss Sunshine, it's pleasant to experience a relatively mild comedy about family dysfunction and want more.
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