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Our Idiot Brother (2011)

Paul Rudd , Elizabeth Banks , Jesse Peretz  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones
  • Directors: Jesse Peretz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: The Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Our Idiot Brother" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Paul Rudd stars in this witty and highly relatable comedy about that one family member who is always just a little bit behind the curve. For sisters Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), and Liz (Emily Mortimer) that person is their upbeat brother Ned, an organic farmer whose willingness to rely on honesty and trusting of humankind allows for a trouble-free existence. Ned may be utterly lacking in common sense, but he is their brother and after his girlfriend dumps him and boots him off the farm, his sisters once again come to his rescue. As Liz, Emily and Natalie each take a turn at housing Ned, their brother's unfailing commitment to honesty creates more than a few messes in their comfortable routines. But after seeing life through Ned’s optimistic perspective, his family comes to realize that maybe, Ned isn't such an idiot after all.

Does trusting others, expecting the best from people, and speaking honestly make a person a role model or an idiot? Ned (Paul Rudd) gets into trouble with the law because of his idealistic ways and compassion for others, and things don't get much easier after he's served his time in prison. Released with nowhere to go and denied even the friendship of his own dog, he looks to his family for support. Ned tries living with his mother (Shirley Knight), which just doesn't work out, and then two of his three sisters (Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, and Emily Mortimer), but his presence seems to disrupt relationships no matter where he lands--and his effect on the success of his sisters' businesses isn't any more positive. The funny thing is, Ned's total disruption of his sisters' lives actually provides each sister with something she never realized she was missing. Our Idiot Brother is a light comedy that's full of absurd situations and stereotypical characters. There are plenty of opportunities to chuckle and laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of some of the situations that Ned and his family find themselves in, but the film also suggests that perhaps honesty and believing in others are more important than social niceties. Bonus features include commentary with director Jesse Peretz, deleted and extended scenes, and a 14-minute making-of documentary. --Tami Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
With its cast of comedy heavyweights, its rather silly title, and a marketing campaign geared in the wrong direction--"Our Idiot Brother" is a film that may certainly fail to meet the expectations of an audience looking for a rude and ribald laugh riot. And others that would be more likely to appreciate its simpler charms might be wary to sample it due to these preconceived notions. But I have to say--for my money, "Our Idiot Brother" is a refreshingly sweet family dramedy. It has such a big heart and an underlying goodness and faith in humanity that is rare to see. The movie doesn't have lofty goals or aspire to be an important viewing experience, and its lack of pretensions are appreciated. This is simply an entertaining film with a cast sharing great chemistry and gentle humor.

Paul Rudd plays the titular lead, the so-called idiot brother. Rudd, always a strong comedic presence, doesn't get enough credit for being a genuinely terrific actor with unexpected range. Here, his character is so guileless and so genuine that he opts to see only the very best in people. His honesty, innocence, and willingness to really connect with others sometimes gets him into hot water. He seems unwilling or unable to plug into the negative energy stream, and just wants to live free and love. So silly, so sweet, and so surprisingly smart--there are quite a few layers at work here. I think it's a great performance. Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer are Rudd's trio of sisters. Each is navigating a complicated personal crisis and Rudd's return home from prison wreaks havoc on their carefully constructed lives. But is he really the problem? Or might there be a method to his madness?

Part of why I enjoyed "Our Idiot Brother" so much was that it had the potential to be a disaster.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff... even if the sisters are too dense. December 6, 2011
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Paul Rudd's very sweet and endearing comedy about a stoner who just likes living a happy life in our cynical and often cruel world is a welcome comedy in this recent era of gross-out blockbusters (many of which you can find Rudd in, courtest of Apatow).

Ned (Rudd) is an organic farmer who is just too nice. So nice that he readily sells marijuana to someone he KNOWS is a cop. Of course, he only accepted money from the officer because said policeman INSISTED on paying for it... Ned was just going to give it away.

That tells you the kind of person Ned is... nice to the point of stupidity.

Once he gets out of jail and on probation, he pretty much plays a game of round robin, living alternately with his three sisters who each have their own issues that Ned can't help but complicate. Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) is trying to track down a story that she could source Ned on... if only he would lie (which he won't). Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) is pregnant, normally something to celebrate if she weren't in a committed relationship with another woman (Rashida Jones), a fact which Ned can't keep to himself. And, finally, Liz (Emily Mortimer) is married to a frustrating git of a pseudo-artiste husband (played here brilliantly by Steve Coogan as the guy you love to hate) whom Ned finds out is cheating on her.

Jesse Peretz has put together a great cast that gels well in all of their roles and the movie only suffers here and there in terms of delivery, pacing and overall plotting.

I loved Katy Hahn and TJ Miller as Ned's ex and her new boyfriend respectively. It especially worked in the denouement when we finally find out Ned's fate in terms of life and love.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, funny and smartly written November 26, 2011
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This comedy/Drama was a delightful surprise. I thought, I might be in for either one of those over the top potty-mouth films or a slap-sticky comedy. It was neither. It was a charming look at a guy who is a bit short of common sense but with a heart of gold. He causes all kinds of calamity for his sisters but at the end of the day everyone is better off. There are laughs and tears. This is a good movie, well written and well acted.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars for a Hesitant Script, Five for Chemistry September 12, 2011
Our Idiot Brother is a dramedy about a family with undiscovered problems and the good-hearted idiot that goes to jail for selling pot to a uniformed officer. Quirky and risqué, it hits on all modern comedy cylinders. But what sets Our Idiot Brother apart are the surprisingly uncommon scenes: the horribly mismatched romantic subplot between Lady Arabella (Janet Montgomery) and Ned (Paul Rudd) that ends in a sudden but fantastic fashion, a horribly botched threesome, and the bond between dog and man-child.

Ned (Paul Rudd) is the only brother of three lovely but unknowingly tormented sisters. Zooey Deschanel plays a non-homosexual lesbian, Elizabeth Banks plays the quintessential job-obsessed shrew, and Emily Mortimer plays the non-sexy, clueless, stay-at-home mom. When Ned goes to jail for trying to help out a depressed uniformed police officer with a few ounces of weed at a local farmers' market, his rehabilitation and parole thrusts him into the lives of his sisters. Idealistic but clueless Ned stumbles through each of their lives, inadvertently exposing all the problems that rest just beneath the surface. Each encounter mixes the cute and goofy with the awkward and dramatic, and while the ending flirts with cheesy "only in the movies" perfection, it is hard not to smile and think, "that is how the world should work".

While the script takes chances that differentiate this movie from all others like it, the writing is really the cast that brings this film its joie de vivre. Paul Rudd plays the blissfully ignorant ideologue to a tee. In every scene his mannerisms and his character's love of life are captivating. Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel each bring a peculiar brand of comedy that seems to fit this movie perfectly. And Emily Mortimer's Liz bursts with heart.
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