Paul Rudd stars as the titular idiot in this light ensemble comedy made for the He’s Just Not That Into You/Valentine’s Day crowd (just the first two family drama/romantic comedies that come to mind). Ned (Rudd) is a Crocs-wearing, pot dealing, organic farmer who lacks the ability to judge the underlying darkness of life. We first meet Ned at a farmers’ market where he blatantly gives drugs to a police officer and thus winds up in jail. Upon his release, Ned alternates between his mother’s home and those of his three sisters, all of whom are distinct personalities in different stages of their lives. Ned’s unintentional meddling causes problems that, predictably, work themselves out for the better. Relationships dissolve, strengthen, and begin anew thanks to the bumbling dullard and his “aw, shucks” brand of humor. Despite the presence of some truly great comedic actors (Steve Coogan, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones), the film is as cookie cutter as can be. It’s smart enough to battle its own cliches at times (Ned’s final choice of career is memorably strange), but the ultimate fates of the characters are insultingly conventional.
Our Idiot Brother opens today both wide and at the Ritz East.