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Wick's Review

Created Sep 05, 2011 02:07AM PST • Edited Aug 26, 2013 06:07PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Lots of pretty people delivering razor sharp comedy atop an idiotic premise makes for a very good movie. The central conceit of Our Idiot Brother – Paul Rudd’s absurdly guileless fool, a.k.a. the Idiot Brother – gets just this side of tedious however. Fortunately the whole thing’s more than a little funny.

    Rudd is joined by countless hot chicks. Thus OIB entices guys and gals alike, the latter for the comedy’s feminine sensibility, the former for the bonuses delivering it, everyone for the LOLs.

    The last time a large hot cast got together like this was Valentine’s Day. OK, that’s a low bar. Still OIB is a whole lot funnier and a whole lot less lame, notwithstanding its idiotic premise.

    Random Note: Enter “My Id” in Wikipedia. Up comes Our Idiot Brother. Psychotherapy seems in order.

  3. Great 4.0

    Countless hot chicks? Well, for starters there’s Rudd’s three sisters, a tasty trio. Then there’s his ex-gf, an earthmother who looks great in a denim skirt. Plus there’s Rashida Jones’ butch girlfriend, Janet Montgomery’s beautiful British heiress, some ballerinas, some party girls… Countless? Bountiful.

    Just checkout two examples from the premiere photosZooey Deschanel knows how to be a movie-star, in terms of eye makeup alone; Janet Montgomery smolders.

    Rudd barely stretches to play a character even nicer than his usual nice guys. Sort of a toned down version of Steve Carell’s performance in Dinner for Schmucks, a comedy where Rudd played the straightman. Even though he plays an idiot here, he heeds Robert Downey’s advice from Tropic Thunder by not going all in.

    His sisters are more interesting than his character. The younger two – Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel – accuse the eldest – Emily Mortimer – of once being the hottest, mostly on account of having the biggest boobs, giving a sense of the Girls Talk comedy.

    • Emily Mortimer plays wide-eyed surprise very well.
    • Elizabeth Banks is uptown gorgeous. In the Big Apple, a city with countless skirt chasers, she’s the hottest skirt in town. Unlike in The Next Three Days, she’s both glamorous and irreplaceable.
    • Zooey Deschanel plays purposeful ditz well, and has grown on me since Days of Summer.

    Other notables:

    • Rashida Jones makes a great looking butch. Her scene exhorting Rudd to man up is a classic.
    • Adam Scott makes an appealing straight-man, comedically speaking.
    • Steve Coogan makes a naturally self-justifying trust-fund adult.
    • Kathryn Hahn makes a great earthmother.
    • Sterling K. Brown makes an imposing Parole Officer. This guy should get bigger roles.
    • Janet Montgomery deserves much bigger roles based on her beauty and British accent.
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars Really Great 4.5
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Very Good 3.5

    The film could be subtitled “Peretz Family Follies,” with Jesse Peretz directing a script written by his sister Evgenia Peretz and her husband David Schisgall. Following the maxim to write about what you know, Evgenia wrote for Vanity Fair magazine, as does Elizabeth Banks’ character. David Schisgall is a documentary filmmaker focused on prostitution. The eldest sister’s husband in the film is a documentary filmmaker, while another character has a charity aiding sex workers.

    The children of Lefty intellectual Martin Peretz, Jesse and Evgenia clearly know that which they channel on screen. Their film serves as a guided tour through comfortable Left Wing America, where wealth is divorced from commerce. Full of mellow seekers and odd juxtapositions of acceptance and judgmentalism, the characters are missing only Obama ’08 buttons to be perfectly drawn.

    Wise choice to have Willie Nelson suffuse the goings on, in canine form and with three lesser known gems from his canon. The dog gives the movie a Meet Cute ending to remember. Classic.

  9. Direction Very Good 3.5
  10. Play Very Good 3.5

    Lots of funny scenes, though the core device of a guy so guileless as to be socially retarded is a bit clunky.

    More substantively, husband and wife writers Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall nail the moral confusion of their age, for instance with a splitting couple arguing about a dog like it’s a child.

  11. Music Great 4.0

    Willie Nelson forever. Stuck on a desert isle? Don’t forget these three gems from the soundtrack.

    • Wonderful Future – plaintive, perfect regret. “I’ve got a wonderful future … behind me.” Wow.
    • Midnight Rider – When Willie covers a song, it better be a killer song. Greg Allman’s best song is. Hearing Willie rock out on it is one hell of a treat.
    • Ol’ Blue – “I had a dog, his name was Blue. I’ll tell you what Ol’ Blue would do.” Pretty as a lullaby.
  12. Visuals Very Good 3.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.0

    As R-rated comedies go these days, this one isn’t Hard R. That said, everything goes in the milieu of the movie’s urban sophisticates.

  15. Sex Titillating 2.5
  16. Violence Gentle 1.2
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.4
  18. Glib 1.3
  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.9
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0

Forum

Subscribe to Our Idiot Brother 2 replies, 1 voice
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Dec 6, 2011 11:56PM
Wick

Regarding BigdaddyDave’s Review
“Ironically, Ned is never seen under the influence of drugs.” Good catch.

Sep 10, 2011 1:01AM
Wick

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
“Some slapstick may have been in order.” Good observation.