Our Idiot Brother – 3.75 Stars

This is a ridiculous feel good comedy about a charming, trusting stoner (Paul Rudd, so open he sells marijuana to a uniformed policeman who professes to having a bad week) forced to live at home with his mother and then with his witches brew of sisters (Emily Watson, Parkey Posey and Zooey Deschanel).  Hijinks and family drama ensue.

Admittedly, this is not a great sell job for this picture.  But the movie is carried by Rudd, whose innocence and good-naturedness are both attractive and believable.  There are also some pretty amusing scenes.  The drug bust is deft, and Rudd’s meetings with his jaded parole officer are also funny.  Deschanel, who plays the artistic sister who wants to be some sort or stand-up comic, is winning, and her performances in what appear to be a NYC basement bar have a real authentic feel, in that she is not funny and the crowd of 7 people watching her is 85% her family.   Adam Scott, as the love interest of Posey, is also excellent.  I’m not sure there is a funnier guy in formulaic comedies than Scott (his asshole brother in Step Brothers is legend).

Posey, as the unscrupulous celebrity interviewer and Watson, as the earth mother sister whose husband (an unpleasant Steve Coogan) is cheating on her, are tedious cartoons, but once Rudd re-enters the movie, all is well again.

The film, however, is stolen by T.J. Miller as a stoner who replaced Rudd by taking up with his woman when Rudd went to jail.  Miller is a gentle soul, just like Rudd, and that they pair up at the end of the picture to start a candle making business is not a spoiler.  It just had to be.

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