Paul Rudd looks all hippie dippy as "Ned," an immature man-child who drives his family crazy in the film "Our Idiot Brother." Rudd spends most of the movie crashing on one sofa after another in a series of unfortunate events.
Ned first lands at his sister Liz's house. Liz, played by Emily Mortimer, is an insecure Brooklyn mom married to Dylan (Steve Coogan). Ned quickly wears out his welcome and moves in with his sister Miranda, played by Elizabeth Banks, a writer for Vanity Fair. Finally he joins his artsy, bisexual bohemian sister Natalie, played by Zooey Deschanel. Ned has a knack for always saying or doing the wrong thing. He means well, but his sisters aren't putting up with it.
Rudd's character works in this film because his easy, charming sweetness and unpatronizing wisdom make him seem simply uninformed and candid, not stupid. He's part "Forrest Gump" in his passive innocence and part "dude" from "The Big Lebowski" in his look. "Our Idiot Brother" is not perfect, but it is idiot-proof.
This is a sweet film about how being clueless and positive can bring out the best in people. Rudd's live-and-let-live character comes across as genuine and proves someone so simple can right the lives of others -- even three troubled sisters.
The flick-o-meter gives "Our Idiot Brother" a solid three out of five. The strong cast of comedians helps in this film that plays heavily on lifestyles from the hippy to the Manhattan yuppy. It is warm and funny, and really, what is there not to love about a clueless granola cruncher? Plus, it is only 90 minutes long.
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So now you know before you go.
For Patch, I'm film critic Brett Martin.
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