Movie review of “My Blind Brother”: Adam Scott plays a blind man whose successes would not be possible without the unnoticed and unappreciated contributions of his diffident brother (Nick Kroll) in this lightweight comedy. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4.
“Not everything is about you, Bill,” says the titular, sightless sibling Robbie (Adam Scott) to his sad-sack brother (Nick Kroll) when the latter requires a little urgent attention.
In fact, nothing in the lightweight comedy “My Blind Brother” is about Bill, whose lack of enthusiasm for life is the result of acquiescing daily to Robbie’s massive ego.
A self-involved jerk who assumes every conversation within earshot concerns him, Robbie has the world convinced he’s a disabled paragon of self-improvement and selflessness. He runs a charity for the blind and draws attention with media-friendly accomplishments such as running marathons and swimming long distances. What he won’t acknowledge is how Bill is always right beside him during these feats, making Robbie’s success possible.
Movie Review ★★½
‘My Blind Brother,’ with Adam Scott, Nick Kroll, Jenny Slate, Zoe Kazan. Written and directed by Sophie Goodhart. 85 minutes. Rated R for language, sexuality, drug use. Sundance Cinemas (21+).
Bill is the invisible brother while all eyes are on the blind hero.
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But Bill briefly grabs onto something to call his own when he develops feelings for Rose (Jenny Slate), who cares for him but becomes an assistant to Robbie. While Bill looks on, she’s reluctantly drawn into Robbie’s bed in a spirit of sacrifice. This triangle, to say the least, won’t hold.
Writer-director Sophie Goodhart has a cyclical story: Bill suffers and then Robbie insults him; rinse and repeat. The addition of superficially interesting supporting characters adds a little oxygen (Zoe Kazan, as always, does a lot with a little). But there is a fundamental flaw in using the thinly drawn and flatly performed Rose as the convenient catalyst for shaking up the complicated status quo between Bill and Robbie. There should be more to her, or she shouldn’t be there at all.
The best material gives the excellent Scott and Kroll plenty of love-hate energy: Robbie’s condescension, Bill’s passive-aggressiveness. It will look all too familiar to anyone who isn’t an only child.