OUR IDIOT BROTHER (2011)

TMG Scale 8.5    P Factor 3.0
Starring Paul Rudd,  Adam Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Sterling K. Brown

* The P Factor, or better “Pee” Factor, is our new comically-disgusting rating on how much live action urination goes on in the film. A P 1.0 is one scene–the higher the number the more peeing on screen.  Art and Joy have noticed a huge trend in movies recently  to have lots of “pee” scenes.  Why? We have no idea. Most are ridiculous and unnecessary. We are simply calling Hollywood out on it…just like we do whenever we see child abuse glorified in films.

Idiot Brother OUR IDIOT BROTHER (2011)TMG: Despite the rather high P Factor (twice plus one fake pee scene with a juice box), this movie exceeded my low expectations by a country mile!  It has one of the funniest scenes I am still laughing out loud about. Genuine and genuinely funny.

Ned (Rudd) is the idiot, unkempt, underachiving, free spirited,  pot smoking brother of three sisters—a married pacifist (Mortimer), a confused and  supersexed lesbian (Deschanel), and Type A aspiring writer (Banks).  The subplots would take pages to explain. I remember several guys in college that looked and acted just like Ned. I did not care for them much. They are classic failures to launch, live sponging off others and welfare programs,  and later teach Asian philosophy at a local community college—in between attending protests against alligator shoes.

Ned, much like his adorable golden retriever “Willie Nelson”, shows back up on the doorsteps of his ex and his sisters after a stint in jail for selling weed to a cop. He disrupts everyone’s dull, but functional lives. Ned does this by being painfully honest and naive about virtually everything; not too different from a dog. For some reason this works and we love every hairy inch of him. The lives he disrupts (perhaps destroys) needed disrupting anyway. In between, Ned just frolicks around like a happy dog and creates havoc. Even a dog knows when he screws up and so does Ned. So, we forgive him and welcome him back.

If for no other reason, you need to see this film for the scene between Ned and his parole officer Omar (Brown). The exchange is worth the price of admission alone. There are other hilarious but dry humor exchanges thorughout the film to keep you on your toes. I am certain that Rudd watched Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski (1998) for acting tips prepping for this film.

I took off a full rating point for the gratuitous pee scenes and one scene of a 7 year old child telling an adult to go “F” themselves. It may be real, but so are the real life abuse practices of Warren Jeffs and I hope they never find the light of day—same for Warren.  Other than that, this was one fun, creative and funny film. Kudos to Paul Rudd.

Joy Lynn: I truly enjoyed this movie.  Rudd’s performance is outstanding.  He plays a very likable character that baby boomers will identify with.   He looks like he belongs in the 1970’s right along with his dog, Willie Nelson.  He’s the guy who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, wants everyone to be happy, is not worried about how he looks or how he acts, yet is totally content to be himself.  Yes, he makes stupid mistakes, but he moves on, even after serving jail time.  Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could be content with who they are rather than medicating themselves for depression and mental illness because society says they don’t fit in?   Ned encounters lots of phonies in life, including his three sisters, but maintains his realistic outlook which provides some very humorous scenes that will make you laugh outloud.  I sure did!

 

 

 

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