Genre: Comedy

Director: Jesse Peretz

Stars: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel

***

 

Comic smartie Paul Rudd is theoretically out of his comfort zone in this wry comedy, in which he’s called upon to play a gentle soul, Ned by name, who is utterly without guile and thus always getting himself in trouble. Such as in the film’s opening moments, where a kindness he extends to a duplicitous police officer lands him in jail. Ned can be clueless and careless —can’t we all? — but he’s no imbecile. He prizes sincerity in a world that runs on deception. Ned is brother to three demanding females: overprotective mother of two Liz (Emily Mortimer), abrasive Vanity Fair writer Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and flaky party girl Natalie (Zooey Deschanel). Who’s the real fool? Maybe Ned isn’t as accident-prone as he lets on. He believes things have a way of working out, and people can “rise to the occasion” if given half a chance to display their better side. Maybe he’s right; nobody around him seems to have a better idea.

 

Extras include a feature commentary by director Jessie Peretz, deleted and extended scenes and a making-of featurette.