Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Idiot Brother

There are nice guys and then there's Ned.  Maybe the screenwriters named him Ned because he's like Ned Flanders on "The Simpsons" only without the religion.  He's so nice when a cop comes up to his fruit & vegetable stand asking for some pot because he's having a bad day, Ned agrees to give him a bag.  He reluctantly takes $20 for it and then finds himself sent up the river on a drug pedaling charge.

Ned (Paul Rudd) gets out 8 months later and is no longer welcome at the farm where he used to work.  At first then he stays with his mom.  When he feels smothered, he goes to stay with his sister Liz (Emily Mortimer) and her husband (Steve Coogan) and their young son River.  Liz and her husband are the type of parents who don't want their kid to eat sugar and make him play some weird musical instrument so he can get into a fancy school.  Ned upsets that by teaching River about karate and stuff.

Soon he ends up with his other sister Miranda (Elizabeth Banks)--I have no idea which sister is the oldest or youngest.  She works for Vanity Fair and is trying to break a big story about Lady Arabella, who was involved in some scandal.  Ned's honesty screws that up too.

He ends up sleeping in a raft at the apartment of his other sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel).  She's supposedly a lesbian, but has been sleeping around with a guy.  Ned's honesty ruins things for her too.

It's all a little too obvious that the real "idiots" are the sisters, not Ned.  As screwed up as his life is, theirs aren't much better, just they refuse to admit it.  You might be able to figure out where everything is going. 

But overall this was a fun, lighthearted film.  Ned's good-natured blundering is funny and makes him a likable character.  He's not exactly in the same mold as Forrest Gump (because he's not that dumb) but he is someone you root for despite the dumb things he does.

This is a good movie for adult couples who want something light and fun.  There's really too much sex talk (and an unfortunate shot of Steve Coogan's naughty parts) for this to be a family film.

The extras on the DVD I received are three deleted/extended scenes (one is real short) and an alternate ending.  Unlike some movies that claim to have an alternate ending but end up having one or two lines changed, this one really is a largely different ending.  I think the original works better, but the alternate ending gives more closure about the characters.

That is all.

(3/4 stars)