Oh, Brother

6 Sep

Contrary to popular belief, the new film Our Idiot Brother was not written or directed by my sister and brother-in-law. In a way, that’s a shame because Ned Rochlin, the character at the heart of the movie, is such a good-hearted, lovable guy, that it would be nice if he actually was modeled after me. But no matter. Ned (Paul Rudd) sees the good in everyone and everything, telling the truth and doing it all with good intentions. For example, he really believes a cop has had a bad day when he traps Ned into selling him marijuana. This nice streak runs counter to his siblings, who each have their own problems and live their own deluded lives. When the sisters welcome Ned into their homes and lives, he leaves each one of them changed.

As you might assume, this dramedy is the latest in a long line of summer indies featuring quirky families (see Little Miss Sunshine, among others). Like the others, it features a likeable cast, a handful of laughs, and a not-too-challenging plot. Our Idiot Brother, like its lead character, grooves along easily, and delivers its simple message of treating everyone with love and honesty in enjoyable fashion. An award-winner this is not, but Our Idiot Brother deserves to be welcomed into your family. I’m giving it a B.

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