Over the weekend, I saw Our Idiot Brother, a movie that was far sweeter and funnier than anything I’ve seen this summer (and I saw the Werner Herzog cave painting documentary!). I love family comedies more than just about anything. You know, like The Corrections. That was a comedy, right? Don’t even tell me it wasn’t, because what was that scene with the talking turd if not comedy? Either way, Our Idiot Brother surprised me by including very few crude jokes. Yes, we did see the back of Steve Coogan’s balls, crude as they may be, but other than that, it was really quite pleasant. No one had semen in their hair, or got hit in the face with a condom, or whatever sort of thing the kids think is funny these days. I appreciate a dirty joke as much as the next gal, but it was nice to see a movie where all of the characters (EXCEPT STEVE COOGAN) were clothed most of the time.
Paul Rudd’s character was a real rarity in film: an optimistic character who isn’t mocked. Most of the comedy hinged on his free-spirited, relaxed behavior around people who are more uptight or motivated or mean, but the film never mocked him. The movie opens with him selling pot to a uniformed cop, but at no point did I think, “Get a load of this dummy!” In a lot of ways, Our Idiot Brother reminded me of an 80’s comedy, maybe something like What About Bob. Actually, exactly like What About Bob. Let’s all rewatch What About Bob this week, everybody!
This movie had something else I always love in a film: sisters! I love watching movies with sisters (or nuns, or houses for unwed mothers, or all-girls boarding schools) because that’s an experience I never had and it all seems so wonderful and mystical. Does it involve less farting? I bet it does. I bet nobody farts at the dinner table when you have sisters! Probably your sister does not say, “Wait a second, did you hear that?” and then fart as soon as you start listening intently.
Watch this movie. Think about what it would be like to have sisters. Look at Steve Coogan’s balls. You’ll love it.