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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Only an idiot would walk out on Our Idiot Brother

Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), Ned (Paul Rudd) and Liz (Emily Mortimer) watch their sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) perform at a comedy club. Ned, the idiot, is the only one laughing. Photo courtesy Weinstein Company
Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), Ned (Paul Rudd) and Liz (Emily Mortimer) watch their sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) perform at a comedy club. Ned, the idiot, is the only one laughing. Photo courtesy Weinstein Company
Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), Ned (Paul Rudd) and Liz (Emily Mortimer) watch their sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) perform at a comedy club. Ned, the idiot, is the only one laughing. Photo courtesy Weinstein Company
Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), Ned (Paul Rudd) and Liz (Emily Mortimer) watch their sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) perform at a comedy club. Ned, the idiot, is the only one laughing. Photo courtesy Weinstein Company

By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

Sometimes all a movie needs to be is fun.

In Our Idiot Brother, Ned (Paul Rudd), who is an idiot, gets out of prison for selling marijuana to a uniformed cop, and his girlfriend before he went in (Kathryn Hahn) won’t let him return to the house. He spends three weeks with his sisters Liz (Emily Mortimer), Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel). His moronic antics force them to face their issues with infidelity and dishonesty. 

The storylines are fantastically interwoven. The film follows Rudd throughout, and in doing so tells his sister’s stories indirectly. Because Rudd is the main character and the film focuses on his contributions to each predicament, it can tell three separate stories without veering off topic.

It’s surprising how funny the film is, even when grounded around Rudd’s unassuming performance. His character can be described as a pylon, and if the producers could train a literal pylon to memorize lines and smoke dope, it could have been close. That’s not to say Rudd’s performance was bad. It was quite good, but the role required a smile and little else.

And make no mistake, Our Idiot Brother is funny. The humor runs through the script and isn’t reliant on punch lines or slapstick. This type of comedy is difficult to create and is another credit to the script, penned by Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall.

A problem may arise when audiences begin to peter out. The style of comedy is such that moments of uproarious laughter in a crowd become moments of quiet, limited enjoyment when alone.

While the movie is fantastically written and performed, it isn’t meant to be remembered for long.

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