Theatre Crasher – Our Idiot Brother

Joy Watson - Theatre crasher (Tom Bateman/AQ)

I love movies.

Movies are the cold side of the pillow or the three-day extension from your terrifying prof – downright sublime. From quivering in my middle-school boots while watching Snape scowl in the first Harry Potter movie, to falling for Leonardo Dicaprio in his dashing suspenders in Titanic, I’ve had some transformative moments within the confines of the theater. This movie column just gives me an excuse to chase those moments more often and report them back to you.

I haven’t been a huge fan of critics ever since one of their scornful reviews almost held me back from seeing 2008’s Mama Mia. This was absolutely unforgivable, as anyone who has had the delight to hear a sweaty Pierce Brosnan belt out ABBA ballads would agree.

Sometimes critics are just too far up their asses to have a blast at the movies. And while I’ve been guilty of that, I’ll try to put on my open-minded bowler hat for the purpose of helping you all have a great movie experience.

But I will never, ever review or recommend anything starring He-Who-Must-No- Be-Named (Adam Sandler) – so forget it.

Amongst the stress and bustle of moving back to Fredericton I trekked up to the theater this week to see Our Idiot Brother. The main appeal of this film to me was that it features Paul Rudd. Along with being a charismatic actor he also seems like he’d be a hilarious neighbour in real life that would come over to have bongo jams all the time.

The premise of the film revolves around the fact that Rudd’s guileless character Ned is the last honest man in a cynical and corporate world. After selling mercy weed to a cop in uniform, Ned has to depend on his sisters to help him get back on his feet.

I thought things were a bit repetitive when it came to the plot. Ned goes to one of his sister’s houses, amuses the occupants with his childlike glee and then enrages his host by exposing their lies or pretensions. Then he wanders on down the road like a hippie, human version of The Littlest Hobo.

The highlight of this movie is definitely Rudd’s performance. He’s the center of all of the funniest scenes, whether he’s groovily dancing like no one is watching or politely trying to extricate himself from a threesome without hurting anyone’s feelings. The actors who play his sisters (Zooey Deschanel and Elizabeth Banks) try hard but aren’t given much outside of a few one-dimensional character traits to work with.

It’s very easy to be cynical about such a movie but instead, I found myself feeling refreshed at Ned’s joie de vivre. To watch a character like this is to briefly escape the vortex of hipster irony that dominates our culture and see what life would be like if we all threw down our iPads and grew tomatoes.

This is a solid, feel-good movie that you’ll enjoy – but perhaps wait for cheap night to feel like you’ve really gotten your money’s worth. After all, it’s no Mama Mia

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