The Schmooze

Friday Film: Paul Rudd as Holy Fool in 'Our Idiot Brother'

Nicole Rivelli/The Weinstein Company

I don’t know when I’ve seen a mean hippie on screen before. But that’s just one reason to see “Our Idiot Brother.” Another is Paul Rudd’s adorable, innocent character, Ned. He’s a latter day hippie we first meet selling vegetables at a farmer’s market. A cop flatters his zucchini, then coaxes him to sell him some pot. Oh, Ned. That good heart of his trumps his common sense every time.

Written by I.L. Peretz descendent Evgenia Peretz, with her husband David Schisgall, and directed by her brother Jesse, the movie is a hymn to family in all its idiosyncracies.

Ned’s not disabled, but you can see why his ambitious sisters label him an idiot — he’s as trusting as any Gimpel. He even confesses to his parole agent (Sterling Brown) that he got high in frustration, and when the officer says “I didn’t hear that,” repeats himself. Ned just doesn’t get sarcasm or meanness. “If you put your trust out there, people will rise to the occasion,” he affirms. The worst insult he can think of? “You know what? WOW.”

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Friday Film: Paul Rudd as Holy Fool in 'Our Idiot Brother'

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