‘My Blind Brother’ is Love Triangle Dramedy That You’ve Probably Seen Before

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My Blind Brother

The bonds of brotherhood are a double-edged sword, combining a lifelong loyalty with an underlying sibling rivalry. That’s the portrait of brotherhood portrayed in My Blind Brother, the new comedy-drama from writer-director Sophie Goodhart. As hard as it tries to make light of a sibling rivalry, a love triangle, and disabilities, My Blind Brother fails to do much its concept, opting to make a rather predictable movie with obvious situations and more obvious conclusions and life lessons learned. With a talented comedic cast, My Blind Brother is a genuine disappointment.

Bill (Nick Kroll) would prefer to spend his days lazing on the couch, smoking weed, drinking too much, and watching TV. However, Bill’s brother Robbie (Adam Scott) doesn’t have that same passive attitude despite his visual impairment, running in marathons for charity with the help of a somewhat reluctant Bill. Robbie’s achievements in marathons and charity have made him somewhat of a local celebrity, and his speeches casually omit praise for Bill’s contributions. Following the marathon, Bill goes to a local bar to relax and have a drink. There he meets Rose (Jenny Slate), who’s mourning the loss of her boyfriend who was killed in accident following an argument. The two have a night of passion, though the next morning is one of regret for Rose who wants to use the recent tragedy as motivation to be a better person. Meanwhile, Robbie sets himself up for his next big conquest – swimming across the local lake. With Bill weary to take on another vigorous training regiment, Robbie secures the assistance of a young girl willing to help – Rose. All of which leads to an awkward love triangle where Robbie and Rose start dating and Bill yearning for Rose’s love on the outside.

The biggest issue with My Blind Brother is the fact that most of the situations are extremely predictable. The outcome of the love triangle is never at any point in doubt, and Goodhart seems determined to resolve every matter in the most obvious fashion. Compounding matters, the film just never reaches the comedic levels its aiming for. A major part of the ineffective humor stems from the fact that much of it is rooted in gags surrounding a disability, including the movie’s best comedic scene. I won’t go as far to say that My Blind Brother is problematic – it never comes across as mean spirited – but too many of the film’s jokes are rooted in Robbie’s disability, like a couple of scenes where Robbie uses his other attuned skills to drive a car.

Character motivations don’t help the story at hand in My Blind Brother. Adam Scott’s character is basically a reincarnation of his character from Step Brothers with a visual impairment. He’s cocky and confident in his abilities, and sometimes lashes out at those around him when things don’t go his way. Both Rose and Bill are characters motivated solely by guilt. The overwhelming guilt that engulfs Rose leads to her volunteer with Robbie, and that same guilt is why she ends up in a relationship with him. At the same time, Bill’s devotion to his brother is also a function of guilt. Throughout the brief film, there’s not a character operating in earnest until the rosy, predictable conclusion.

My Blind Brother isn’t a debacle or a terrible movie, just one that is wholly underwhelming. The talented cast are game, but the script is never near the levels of their performances. The film is shot well, with no jarring incompetence to its visual language. But there’s just something missing at the heart of My Blind Brother. It never coheres as intended on every comedic and dramatic level it aims for.

My Blind Brother
  • Overall Score
2.5

Summary

With three talented leads, My Blind Brother fails to cohere into either an effective drama or comedy in its fairly predictable love triangle.

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