Without Paul Rudd, I’m not sure how well Our Idiot Brother would’ve done. And I’m not just saying this because of my overall Hollywood crush and obsession over him but because there’s really no other prominent actor that would’ve played the part of main character Ned as well and as convincing as he did. The film follows Ned – a down-to-earth grown man who tends to find himself in some rather bizarre situations on a daily basis. Although his actions can be considered idiotic, his unconditional love and support for his family and his utter faith in humanity make this film a pretty enjoyable watch. Fair warning though, if you’re looking for raunchy one-liners and a “stoner” classic, this ain’t it. This film is far from the cliche and shares a bigger message that’s directed to those who are struggling in life: “Where do I go from here?”
After selling a bag of pot to a police officer, Ned lands himself in prison but is let go after 4 months thanks to his passive personality and his “extremely good conduct”. Although he leaves with high(er) hopes and dreams, he is 1) kicked out of his own home, 2) loses (illegal) custody of his dog, 3) finds himself in a huge web of family secrets and misfortunes, and the never-ending list goes on. And it never seems to get any better for him throughout the film’s entirety. Rather, each situation finds a way to mend itself all on its own for him and the rest of his family. That very idea is what makes the film personable and relatable. Scene after scene, the situations and the resolutions don’t ever seem forced. Each scene flows well with one another and eventually leads to the point of the movie (also being the last few words spoken by Ned): “Isn’t it funny how life has a way of working things out?”
Overall, Our Idiot Brother exceeded expectations and should be considered a clever comedy. It doesn’t rely on crude humor or heavy use of drugs. Even though Rudd’s character is given the characteristics of select Apatow characters and resembles Charlie Chaplin’s “Tramp” character, Ned is charming, fun to watch, and is that positive hope many are looking for.
This film runs 1 hour and 30 minutes and is Rated R.