Our Idiot Brother as reviewed in The Phantom TollboothEvery family has one???

Every family has one; that relative that always seems to be the topic of dinner discussion and whose name is usually accompanied by a head shake or eye roll. In the new adult comedy Our Idiot Brother, we are introduced to a character that means well, but always seems to get it all wrong.

Ned (Paul Rudd) is a simple man who loves to think the best of people. To call him a naïve person would be like calling the Grand Canyon a small hole. He isn't mentally challenged as much as he is just socially inept. He is a child in many ways, floating through life and trying to just stay happy. After being released from jail (for a crime that was all heart and no brain) he bounces around to each of his three sisters, driving them crazy and nearly ruining their lives.

Rudd does a great job with the role but sadly the writing has little continuity for the character. One minute Ned is doing something that is simply a bad choice and then follows it up by doing something that no one legally sane would do. So you never know if he is just big hearted or a true idiot. He could have been endearing had the writers focused more on the decisions that had heart but bad timing. Instead you always get the sense that he is disjointed and the emotions never click.

His three sisters, played nicely by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer, are all so much more dysfunctional than Ned is. They think he is the idiot when really he is just stating the obvious things in their lives that they are trying to sweep under the rug or run from. This would be annoying for anyone. In the end it is up to them to realize that blood is thicker than water and family always has to come first.

Our Idiot Brother is rated R for sexual content including nudity, and for language throughout. It is certainly an adult comedy. The three sisters drop the F bomb like a game of space invaders. There are affairs, adult dialogue and a few openly homosexual relationships. If this isn't your cup of comedic tea then I would suggest looking elsewhere for entertainment. If you want a mid level comedy in which Rudd delivers as best as he can, and you have money to burn then I would say go for it. The cast is solid and they do a lot with the little they are given. I give it 2.5 out of 5 shoulder shrugs. When you have a film with this ensemble and the best part is a dog named Willie Nelson; something was certainly off the mark.


Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.