Our Idiot Brother

August 26th, 2011

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Our Idiot Brother

Still of Janet Montgomery in Our Idiot BrotherStill of Paul Rudd in Our Idiot BrotherBusy Philipps at event of Our Idiot BrotherStill of Paul Rudd in Our Idiot BrotherStill of Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer and Paul Rudd in Our Idiot BrotherStill of Hugh Dancy in Our Idiot Brother

A comedy centered on an idealist who barges into the lives of his three sisters.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 6.6/10 (22,344 voted)

Critic's Score: 60/100

Director: Jesse Peretz

Stars: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel

Ned lived a happy life growing organic vegetables on a farm with his hippie girlfriend and his dog named Willie Nelson, but an unadvised incident with marijuana at a farmer's market lands him in jail. When he gets out of jail, he is off to live with his sisters. While Ned is still happy, his sisters are much less so after he manages to screw up one marriage, one job opportunity, one budding relationship and one domestic partnership. He sees those problems as breakdowns in communication, but his sisters see him as an idiot.

Writers: Jesse Peretz, Evgenia Peretz

Paul Rudd - Ned Rochlin
Nick Sullivan - Customer
Francesca Papalia - Sadie
Bob Stephenson - Officer Washburn
Elizabeth Banks - Miranda Rochlin
Peter Hermann - Terry
Adam Scott - Jeremy
Kelly Briter - Girl with Jeremy
Rashida Jones - Cindy
Zooey Deschanel - Natalie Rochlin
Emily Mortimer - Liz
Steve Coogan - Dylan
Kathryn Hahn - Janet
T.J. Miller - Billy
Shirley Knight - Ilene Rochlin

Release Date: 26 August 2011

Filming Locations: Cold Spring, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $7,011,631 (USA) (28 August 2011) (2555 Screens)

Gross: $24,814,830 (USA) (20 November 2011)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Ned introduces River, Dylan's (Steve Coogan's) son to the movie The Pink Panther, starring Peter Sellers. Steve Coogan has been likened to the late Peter Sellers for his versatile character portrayals, range of voices and gift for mimicry.

Revealing mistakes: Close to the end of the film when Ned (Paul Rudd) and his friend have opened up a candle-store, his friend is dipping candles into obviously empty containers, since they come out as dry as when they go in, and in many shots you can see the jars being empty of candle mass.

Jeremy: [Referring to Ned not being able to go through with a 3-way with a man and a woman] Just because you're straight doesn't mean you're homophobic.
Ned: [Feeling ashamed of himself] I don't know, maybe I should have tried harder.

User Review

Charming and hilarious

Rating: 8/10

A hilarious movie written for Paul Rudd: what more could we want?

Rudd plays Ned, a stoner who has frizzled his neurons to the point that he has lost any ability to detect or dish out B.S. The poster child for what it means to be ingenuous, Ned is a trusting, playful, adorable stray puppy who isn't quite housebroken. So you-know-what hits the fan when his three sisters serially take him in after his release from jail. He's nothing but tsuris. It's no wonder that his most enduring relationship is with his dog, Willie Nelson.

Thanks to Rudd's everyman persona and the genial obliviousness he brings to Ned, you can't help but feel empathy. As with a suspense film where the audience knows what's going to happen but the characters are still in the dark, you want to yell out to warn Ned before he screws up again. His perfect comic timing and the made-to-order script make sure you get the most laughs from his predicament. Luckily, there's more to him than just bad luck. He's also an endearing white angel on the shoulders of his sisters, helping them fight their devils as he becomes an unwitting catalyst for change.

The movie's impressively talented and good-looking cast includes Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, and Elizabeth Banks (looking a lot like Parker Posey) as sisters. What's more, Rashinda Jones and Hugh Dancy add to the already high eye-candy quotient. Steve Coogan plays Ned's deliciously distasteful brother-in-law in his inimitable unpleasant-guy way.

The film is smartly directed by Jesse Peretz from a story he developed with his sister, Evgenia Peretz. I saw this at the Sundance screening in Brookline, Massachusetts, where director Peretz said they wrote it for Rudd, whom he clearly enjoys working with, and who wouldn't? Even though they stuck to the script, Rudd improvised at least two of the movie's funniest bits.

A fun ride throughout, the film only has a couple of weak spots. One scene has Ned comfortably telling a white lie, something so out of character it was jolting to the point of distraction. The ending could use some reshaping, and perhaps it might get some before general release. But even as is, this movie is about as charming and hilarious as Rudd can be, which is quite sizable.

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