COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 30min
STARRING: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan
Sibling revelry: from left, Rudd, Banks, Mortimer and Deschanel
When is Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man) ever not a great movie guy? The genial actor continues his roll with Our Idiot Brother ’s happily naïve hippie throwback, Ned, who sells pot to a uniformed policeman and lands in the slammer. Dumped by his girlfriend (Kathryn Hahn), Ned turns to his boozy mother, Irene (Shirley Knight), and sisters Miranda (Banks), Natalie (Deschanel) and Liz (Mortimer). Being an idiot-savantish goof with an uncanny knack of Tilt-a-Whirling other people’s lives, his bunking-down stint with mouseburger Liz, her peeved documentarian husband (Coogan) and young son (Matthew Mindler) is a minor disaster. And he’s just getting started.
The girls have Ned pegged as a screw-up, and so he is. Bossy journalist Miranda feels it when he puts paid to her Vanity Fair article, Natalie when he blurts an inflammatory truth to her girlfriend. But his enduring innocence has an innate wisdom, too. And with a cast that clicks this smoothly, a screenplay that charms your socks off and director Jesse Peretz knowing exactly how to make the most of it, screwing up becomes an impish art form.