Another weekend seeing two films. This one was the Paul Rudd vehicle Our Idiot Brother.
The definition of “comedy” is recorded as: “Professional entertainment consisting of jokes and satirical sketches, intended to make an audience laugh.” Using that as a basis for this movie I’d have to say its got major issues.
Here we get Rudd as the title character whose siblings—all sisters—are played by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer.
That’s a pretty good roster of talent there so I had a lot of expectations. Sadly I laughed more during the previews. In fact, I didn’t laugh once until the half-way point and then only mildly. Throughout the entire film only once did a laugh fall into the realm of “good”.
The entire story seemed to lack any magic what-so-ever. It was almost like watching home videos of a family you don’t know, and more to the point, don’t care about. You never feel like you really get to know anyone here. Rudd’s character is never fully explained. Is he stupid or eccentrically brilliant? No idea and no interest.
The writers not only don’t tell us enough about the brother but also provide lots of contractions regarding his so-called idiocy. He spouts off phrases that no simple man would utter but then is completely ignorant of the most basic facts of reproduction. I’m just not buying it.
Much of the story included highly-predictable outcomes. Oh look, his dog ran off and met another dog in the park. I wonder what happens next?
In the end I will say Rudd has never acted better. He does the best anyone could with the material and that’s a rare case in this film. The rest of the talent was entirely wasted except for a glimmer of brilliance from the Mom played wonderfully by Shirley Knight. In fact, I’m left to guess as to how the rest of the women involved ever saw this as a good investment of their time.