Hot Sundance Trend: Naifs!
The clueless will inherit the earth, apparently, or at least Park City, Utah, since holy innocents keep popping up in some of the hottest titles at this year's Sundance Film Festival:
· My Idiot Brother stars Paul Rudd (above) in the title role, a free-wheelin' organic farmer who gets sent to jail on a drug bust -- he's so kind-heartedly goofy that he actually sells a bag of weed to a uniformed police officer. He innocently disrupts the life of his three sisters -- the ambitious would-be journalist (Elizabeth Banks), the promiscuous would-be stand-up comic (Zooey Deschanel), and the harried would-be perfect mommy (Emily Mortimer) -- but wouldnt'cha know? His bumbling efforts actually make everything better. (Rudd's character is an Inspector Clouseau fan, but for the movie's purposes, he more resembles the sweet space-cases played by Peter Sellers in Being There and The Party.)
· Ed Helms' insurance agent in Cedar Rapids is so sheltered that he's never been on an airplane or stayed in a hotel, so naturally a trip to an insurance convention in the titular city blows his mind. But while he seems terribly foggy over how the world actually works, his charm and adorability win over everyone around him and -- wouldnt'cha know? He improves the lives of everyone from his fellow salespeople (Anne Heche, John C. Reilly, Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and a local hooker (Alia Shawkat).
· In Abraxas, a punk rocker turned Buddhist monk... well, you can guess.