“Our Idiot Brother” is a movie chock-full of good looking people. I went to see it, in spite of a mediocre review by the local paper, because Paul Rudd is funny, and Zooey Deschanel is beautiful and funny, and Elizabeth Banks is beautiful and funny, and Rashida Jones et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. You get the picture.
I was worried because movies with beautiful people have a challenge in that sometimes it’s hard to feel sorry for the really good looking people because, regardless of circumstances, they’re probably going to be good looking. So the filmmakers did a clever thing in keeping total success slightly out of their reach.
I was relieved to see that Paul Rudd’s character makes his own mess. In my book, that leads to better humor. If there’s a true flaw, it’s that he isn’t actively working on achieving something, except maybe getting along with his family. That’s fine, but it isn’t made clear until the third act.
In my mind, it falls into the same place I store “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Fisher King” for the type of jokes, and the style of delivery. In terms of structure, I think when Paul’s character goes back to prison, it’s in the same place as when Alan Arkin’s character dies of an overdose in “Little Miss Sunshine,” or Robin Williams’s character goes back to the asylum in “The Fisher King.” I think they could have elevated the tension a bit with Paul’s character in prison, and landed a few more jokes. It wasn’t bad–far from it–but I think they might have left some money on the table.
And I have to say that Steve Coogan was funny naked.