LIKE ANY NON-CRAZY WOMAN, Paul Rudd can reliably moisten my panties. I will watch any movie he's in. While I love my husband, I... I mean, Paul Rudd! Such a dreamboat. He can't not be charming and loveable. That said, Our Idiot Brother is not the panty-moistening star vehicle it could have been.
The movie starts with Rudd, in a sweater, selling fruit at a farmers' market. His name is Ned. Ned is goofy and kind, which we know because, again, that sweater. He's so chill that he's surprised to get arrested for selling weed to a cop in uniform. After Ned's release from prison a few months later, he's got no choice but to lean on his three sisters for help.
Things go downhill once we meet the sisters, Nat (Zooey Deschanel, ugh), Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), and Liz (Emily Mortimer), all of whom are generic Types. Guess which one is a bisexual hipster with bangs? Correct! Meanwhile, Miranda is a career woman who wears pencil skirts, and Liz is a repressed hippie mom who hates cake.
If you think zany antics ensue, you'd be wrong: Ned interferes in each sister's life with hilarious possibilities but only mildly funny execution. The sisters get all "but my family!" or "but my career!" or "but my bangs!" and we wait for them to learn Life Lessons from their fuck-up brother—but then, weirdly, Ned gets asshole-y, which is totally out of character, and after that it's just a race to tie up plot points. There is also some pointless romance and an adequate blooper reel.
It's like they got a plot and a great cast, but then phoned in the jokes with the assumption that Rudd's charm would carry the film. Yeah, it's awesome when Ned shares ice cream with a dog, but even Rudd's dreamy eyes don't twinkle enough to make up for lazy writing.
Also: Rashida Jones is in there as Nat's girlfriend who wears ridiculous glasses. (Am I contractually obligated to mention that Zooey and Rashida kiss? They do.) And Adam Scott plays Miranda's neighbor who eats cereal out of the same Ikea bowls I have.
On my trademarked Pauly Panties Scale, this movie is moister than Role Models, but much drier than Rudd's roles in Clueless, I Love You, Man, or that episode of Friends when he marries Phoebe.