The man-child: a staple character for modern comedy and notoriously known for being played one-note. They get the laugh they get out.
But turning the lovable goofball or zoned-out knucklehead into something more is no easy task—which makes Paul Rudd's work in Our Idiot Brother that much more impressive. Rudd's Earth-friendly farmer Ned (the closest thing to a new Lebowski we've seen since the original) finds himself down on his luck after being entrapped by a police officer looking for pot. After a stint in jail he abandons his rural hippie commune for the big city to take shelter with his three sisters. Unfortunately for Ned his three siblings Liz (Emily Mortimer) Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) are as equally displaced and confused from the ebb and flow of life—albeit with severely different perspectives of the world.
Liz struggles to put her kid in private school and keep her marriage to documentary filmmaker/scumbag Dylan (Steve Coogan) intact. Miranda claws her way to the top of Vanity Fair's editorial staff and shuns her flirtatious neighbor (Adam Scott). Natalie stresses over her commitment issues with girlfriend Cindy (Rashida Jones) leaving little time or patience for Ned's bumbling antics. Sound like a lot of plot? While the manic lives of Ned's sisters click symbolically with his journey to get back on his feet it makes for one sporadic narrative.
Like a series of vignettes Our Idiot Brother never gels but when director Jesse Peretz finds a moment of unadulterated Nedisms to throw up on screen the movie hits big. Whether it's Ned teaching his nephew how to fight accidentally romancing his sister's interview subject or infiltrating his ex-girlfriend's house to steal his dog Willie Nelson the movie relies heavily on Ned's antics and its smart to do so. But thin throughlines for its supporting don't hold a candle to Rudd doing his thing.
And its a testament to Rudd's versatility—the man has done everything from Shakespeare and raunchy Judd Apatow comedies after all—that makes the movie watchable. Rudd gives dimensionality to his nincompoop character allowing darker emotions to creep in when necessary. There's a point in the film when Ned gives up fighting for his type-A sisters' affection and it's some of the best material Rudd's ever delivered. But like one of Ned's lit joints Our Idiot Brother can quickly fizzle out leading to plodding plot twists and sentimental conclusions. Mortimer Banks and Deschanel are great actresses—here they drift through their scenes and come out in the end changed. Because they have to.
Our Idiot Brother tries to take the Apatow model to the indie scene and comes through with so-so results. Only Rudd's able to find something to latch on to to build upon to warm up to. In an unexpected twist it's the man-child who seems the most grown up.
The 26 year old was pulled over by cops in Santa Monica, California on 2 August (11) after he ran through a red light, and heroin and a loaded handgun were found in the vehicle during a routine search.
O'Neal was held without bail and later charged with two felonies - one for heroin possession and one for illegally possessing a firearm.
On Wednesday (24Aug11) Redmond pleaded no contest to both counts and was ordered to undergo one year of inpatient treatment.
Redmond's attorneys, Richard Pintal and Michael Brewer, tell People.com, "We are pleased and grateful that the judge gave Redmond further treatment rather than incarceration. His history of addiction warrants this approach."
He is currently on probation for bringing drugs to a Los Angeles County jail in 2009 and he'll remain on probation for another five years.
Matt Veltri was arrested outside the Love Story star's Malibu, California home on 22 July (11) after allegedly breaking into a home nearby while in possession of narcotics.
He was booked on burglary and drug charges and released on bail hours later - but he owes his freedom to O'Neal for putting up the cash to secure his freedom.
Veltri, who claims the arrest was a misunderstanding, tells America's Star magazine that O'Neal did the good deed because he "knows" he is "a good kid".
The 26 year old was busted again for drugs just three days later and was caught while in a car with Redmond, but Veltri insists he wasn't the dealer providing illegal substances to his famous friend, the son of O'Neil and the late Farrah Fawcett, who is back behind bars following his own drugs bust earlier this month (Aug11).
Veltri says, "Ryan would never allow one of Redmond's friends to come into his house and deal drugs."
He will fight the burglary and drug charges in court on 20 September (11). Redmond, who has been remanded in custody, will appear in court to face felony counts of heroin possession and illegal possession of a firearm on 24 August (11).
Little Clover Elizabeth, who is the couple's fourth child, was born on Monday (15Aug11) at Los Angeles' Good Samaritan Hospital.
The proud father tells People.com, "Ruve gave birth to a beauty! 8½ lbs. and 21 inches with thick dark hair like her gorgeous Mommy... We are so blessed."
The baby girl joins the McDonoughs' kids London Jane, 19 months, Catherine Maggie, four, and five-year-old Morgan Patrick.
There has been somewhat of a baby boom in Hollywood in recent days - Jessica Alba and Tina Fey both gave birth during the past week and Kevin Federline became a father for the fifth time on Monday (15Aug11). Meanwhile, Hilary Duff and Roselyn Sanchez both announced they are pregnant.
Prosecutors told Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria they no longer wanted to proceed with the trial, citing problems with the credibility of the alleged victim, Robert Ross.
Ross, a former gang member, claimed he was assaulted and robbed during the 2008 kidnapping.
He accused gang members of taking him to a home and beating him while demanding the videotape, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Ross also filed a civil lawsuit against O'Neal and a business partner, claiming the two men were behind the attack.
The Love Story star's eldest son Griffin was hospitalised after crashing his car in California on Tuesday (02Aug11), just hours after his youngest son Redmond was arrested after police allegedly found drugs and a gun in his car.
Redmond, whose mum was the late Farrah Fawcett, was charged with felony heroin possession and illegally possessing a firearm on Thursday (04Aug11).
O'Neal admits his family is facing tough times, blaming Redmond's five-month break from rehab for the 26 year old's recent drug issues.
But he is confident his sons will eventually be able to overcome their personal demons.
He tells TMZ.com, "(My family) is falling apart. We'll come back. Griffin is 45 years old... he's lasted this long, he'll find a way to pick himself up. Redmond (has) more of a problem, he has a real illness. We are terribly worried for him. He hasn't been in rehab for four or five months and look what happened."
The troubled 26 year old was pulled over by cops in Santa Monica after he ran through a red light. The authorities discovered heroin and a loaded handgun in the vehicle during a routine search.
O'Neal, the actor's son with the late Farrah Fawcett, was charged on Thursday (04Aug11) with felony heroin possession and illegally possessing a firearm.
Redmond was jailed without bail after his arrest. He will remain in custody until a hearing on 24 August (11). O'Neal has a string of previous drug-related arrests and is currently on probation.
He was behind bars when his mother died in 2009.
Outside court on Thursday, Redmond's dad told reporters, "He never recovered from the loss of his mother".
The actor admitted he's desperate for his son to seek professional help again: "He has a real illness and we're terribly worried for him. He hasn't been in rehab for four, five months and look what happened."
And his half-sister Tatum O'Neal, who also turned up at court, told People.com, "He's an addict. Addicts keep using until they want to stop. We're praying for him every day."
The stars became estranged after the actor began dating Farrah Fawcett in the late 1970s, but they reunited following her death in 2009.
Relations became strained again when they filmed their U.S. reality TV show, Ryan & Tatum: The O'Neals, and spoke about their issues as they promoted it - but the turning point came during separate appearances on Piers Morgan Tonight.
Speaking on the show on Thursday night (04Aug11), Morgan told his guest Kathy Griffin, "I stayed at Sharon Osbourne's Malibu beach house last weekend and Ryan O'Neal has a house next door...
"He was playing frisby with his dog on the beach and he told me because of that double interview they've now got back talking and things are moving in the right direction. I was very pleased to hear that."
However, O'Neal is now having problems with his other children - son Redmond has been charged with two felonies following his arrest for drug possession on Tuesday (02Aug11), while his elder son Griffin was involved in a car crash on the same day.
Police in Santa Monica, California pulled him over after he failed to stop at a red light and allegedly found heroin in his car during a routine search of the vehicle.
Redmond, who has a history of drug-related problems and jail time, was taken into custody and incarcerated without bail.
He is currently on probation for bringing drugs to a Los Angeles County jail in 2009.
Redmond was behind bars when his mother died in 2009. He was allowed out to attend her funeral.
The 46 year old veered into oncoming traffic and collided with another vehicle in San Diego County on Tuesday (02Aug11), according to the Associated Press.
O'Neal was taken to Palomar Medical Center after complaining of pain, and discharged later that day. The condition of the other driver involved in the accident is not yet known.
It's a double blow for the O'Neal family - Griffin's half-brother Redmond was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and violating probation after a police officer allegedly found heroin in his car earlier on Tuesday.
Griffin's sister, actress Tatum, took to her Twitter.com page to address the news, writing, "My Oneal (sic) brothers are not doing that great right now. Will take a prayer if you have it in you."