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'Our Idiot Brother' rates high and low with Film Fans

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Our Idiot Brother." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 out of 4 stars

The movie unfolds the title's namesake, (Paul Rudd as Ned), selling home-grown to a uniformed police officer, simply because, as the officer explains, he's had a rough week. Ned is promptly arrested and serves time in jail. The bulk of the movie shows scene after scene, in which Ned lives up to his personal philosophy of trusting by giving others the benefit of the doubt to see their best intentions, and they in turn will rise to the occasion.

Throughout the film and his sisters' lives, Ned continues to make observations, and relay these observations to those involved with no filter of discretion or realization of potential consequences. As a result of Ned's complete honesty, even those whom he barely knows cannot resist his openness, and open up their lives and stories to him. However, his sisters complain how Ned is messing up their lives by being "Ned," and an integral unwanted part of their daily affairs.

Paul Rudd has the naive and eagerly happy expression as the "40 Year Old Virgin", and plays his role well. However, the movie had so many sub-plots that it was challenging to more fully develop any one plot or character. I wanted to really like this movie, not only for the theme but the caliber of actors involved. The film, in my opinion, didn't live up to its potential, and was fairly predictable. I rate this movie 2 stars, but recommend it as a "rental".

-- Cathryn Veal, Lawrenceville

1/2 out of 4 stars

The media captions say "hilarious-must see" but nothing could be further from the truth. This movie is an absolute waste of time, energy and celluloid. It has no entertainment value and excluding a few supporting cast members, it could likely be amongst the top three losers for 2011. On top of this, the music and screenplay are very dumb and sophomoric. Ned, the idiot, played by Paul Rudd, has three loser sisters who are all in different states of dyslectic relationships.

Common tread is they do not think much of the idiot brother, who as the movie starts, is getting out of jail.

So we have a little of who "wants to live with Ned" going on. Ned bounces around like a homeless person disrupting families along the way, as he is void of discretion or tact. Not the sort of stuff on which you can develop or base a movie. On top of this, his sisters are hideous and annoying and have zero screen presence excluding Nat played by Zooey Deschanel. So there you have this disgusting thing, as you cannot fix stupid.

If your sock drawer is not arranged, do not budge.

-- Rick Wright, Auburn

3 out of 4 stars

Although "My Idiot Brother" had a perfect little (predictable) ending it makes you want to be a better person. Paul Rudd (Ned) and the entire cast were excellent. This updated adult version of "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse" story (by Aesop) was hilarious.

After spending time in jail, losing his place on the farm, Ned goes to New York and virtually destroys his three sisters' (played by Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel) lives. He naively ruins something for each of them -- by exposing infidelity or helping to break an already broken marriage. For the most part everyone around him is angry and self absorbed. Of course their opinion of him is that he's pathetic, needy and constantly in the way. It was only a matter of time before he snapped.

Ned loves everyone unconditionally, is good natured, down to earth and expects the same from everyone else. We could all learn a little something from Ned.

-- Darlene Wright, Lawrenceville