Kelsey Hess: Staff Writer
“I won most cooperative inmate – four months running!” says a scrappy Paul Rudd as Ned in the newest feel-good film, My Idiot Brother. With a charismatic grin and tattered cargo shorts, Ned, the happy-go-lucky realist, returns to normal civilian life after a stint in jail for selling marijuana to a uniformed cop.
The misguided character returns to his home only to be dumped by his feisty long-time girlfriend. As if heartbreak isn’t enough, his dog and best friend, Willie Nelson (yes, after the decrepit country star), is lost to his ex-girlfriend in their unofficial custody battle, and he is now homeless.
The film follows his journey after surviving these tragedies, living off of his three sisters. Emily Mortimer plays his first sister, the naïve Liz. She is oblivious to her cheating husband, played by a slimy Steve Coogan. The middle sister is Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), an aspiring writer who would manipulate and cheat her way into any column one story. Zooey Deschanel plays the last sister, Natalie. She is a sexually confused lesbian and a failing stand-up comedian.
Throughout the movie, Ned changes the lives of his sisters, and the audience learns a bit about the benefits of good intentions and faith in one’s family.
After walking in with low expectations, My Idiot Brother was a breath of fresh air with an honest sense of humor and a heart-warming story. Paul Rudd showed a whole new dimension of depth, posing as an oblivious man with a keen sense of right and wrong.
“I think if you give people the benefit of the doubt, they’re going to want to live up to your expectations,” said Rudd’s character in the film.
The actors were inspiring and the story was solid, making it undoubtedly one of the best movies of the season.