Our Idiot Brother (2011)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Our Idiot Brother</strong> (2011)

(On cable TV, April 2012) There’s something almost archetypical in the holy fool that Paul Rudd plays so loosely in Our Idiot Brother: a childish man with no perceptive filters and an almost-infinite good faith in his fellow humans, the titular brother becomes a catalyst for dramatic change when he’s forced to spend time with his three sisters and their families.  The specific of the plot becomes secondary to the character work and the conflagration when too much unfiltered truth exposes everyone’s illusions.  The trailer makes the film look like a laugh-a-minute, but the actual film is more measured and demands to be taken more slowly.  In the roles of the three sisters, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer do fine work, but it’s really Rudd who holds the film on his shoulders.  With all the self-deluded characters, painful confrontations and elaborate rationalizations, Our Idiot Brother becomes a profoundly humanistic film.  As a result, and with the help of a conclusion in which everything predictably goes well, it’s a charming, likable and self-assured film.  It may be a bit too gentle and slow-paced to please those looking for laugh-a-minute hilarity, but when a film has so much charisma, it doesn’t really matter.

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