Our Idiot Brother, directed by Jesse Peretz is a comedy about an overly optimistic, extremely laid back man, Ned (played by Paul Rudd), who after being released from jail for selling an undercover cop marihuana, finds that he no longer has a home to return to, or his canine companion. While he tries to find his place in the world he encroaches on the lives of his three sisters who take him into their homes.
Ned always sees the best in people and trusts everyone. He takes what people tell him at face value; never thinking that people may be conning him or lying. This gets Ned, and by extension his sisters, into a lot of trouble. While some characters seem stereotypical, there are still relatable characters in the film. They are over the top in such a way to be highly entertaining, yet not so extreme that audiences won’t be able to relate to them.
By the end of the film, the characters have grown and learned to be more honest with themselves- not that the movie preaches about good people getting everything they ever wanted. Our Idiot Brother is much more realistic than that. Instead the moral is more along the lines of even if you’re honest, things may still not go the way you wanted. That’s life. Learn to accept it and you will feel better about everything.
A small subplot of the film involves Ned and his dog, Willie Nelson, a beautiful Golden Retriever. After returning from jail, Ned’s ex-girlfriend refuses to give Willie to Ned. Ned is heartbroken. It leaves audiences wondering throughout the film if Ned will ever be reunited with his canine companion.
Our Idiot Brother is a wonderful look at family dynamics. It’s full of laughs but also has poignant moments that make audiences reflect about their life’s choices. Overall, it is a great and enjoyable movie.