Our Idiot Brother
Mayhem ensues as Paul Rudd’s eponymous, hairily Lebowskian quasi-hippie hero surfs the couches of his three crisply differentiated sisters: commitment-phobic kook Zooey Deschanel; compromised journo-careerist Elizabeth Banks; and resigned hausfrau Emily Mortimer (Mom Shirley Knight, neatly tucked into nightgown and white wine, passive-aggressively presides over the lot of them). The sisters have challenging significant others of sorts, respectively: Rashida Jones, Adam Scott and Steve Coogan. And although the film makes a silly point of Rudd’s contagious credulity—by which he becomes a hamper for his family’s dirty laundry, inevitably spilled—it’s more convincingly a matter of contagious hilarity, just a nice upbeat ensemble hangout. That air of family privilege being indulged must at least partly result from being scripted by director Jesse Peretz’s sister, Vanity Fair contributing editor Evgenia Peretz, with her husband David Schisgall. The cast wears it well, especially Kathryn Hahn as an ex with whom Rudd has a custody battle over a golden retriever named Willie Nelson.