OUR IDIOT BROTHER

Mildly clever. Some very funny scenes. A likable cast. You'd have to be an idiot to not like OUR IDIOT BROTHER. That's the thing. I liked it. I didn't love it. It's an inoffensive cute comedy about the one brother among four siblings who always tries to put out the good vibe, but invariably botches things for his three sisters. The idiot in Paul Rudd's “Ned” is obvious from the beginning. He sells pot(actually gives it away!) to a uniformed police officer. That's pretty idiotic. But everything Ned does comes from the flower-child-like place of doing good, karma being what it is. But it always seems to bite him in the ass, because the world is a much harsher place than Ned wants to accept. The cluelessness is cute and Rudd plays Ned just right. His sisters are wonderful. Zooey Deschanel (I have a huge crush), Elizabeth Banks and Emily Mortimer play each type to perfection. The lesbian stand-up comic in a committed relationship (Zooey), the high achieving career woman (Elizabeth) and the mom/wife (Emily). Special kudos to Steve Coogan who plays Mortimer's lecherous, documentary filmmaker husband. It all works very nicely. And it's good to see a comedy that doesn't rely on shock and awe. As good as all the pieces are, the script is clever, has some funny moments, but overall misses the mark by mere inches. It's not groundbreaking and doesn't have the “attitude” of a Woody Allen comedy or a genuinely hilarious movie like “Sideways”. It is a good effort from director Jesse Peretz. I look forward to more from him. — Alan Yudman

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