My Blind Brother

The road to equal treatment has been a long and difficult one for the disabled community, and littered with setbacks and defeats. Occasionally lost in that quest for accessibility legislation and insurance mandates has been the subordinate struggle to recognize the fact that yes, the disabled can be assholes, too. 30-something slacker Bill, played by Nick Kroll (The League, Parks and Recreation), possesses the hopes and dreams typical of his demographic: meeting the right girl, taking naps and fantasizing about being paralyzed so he can be pushed around by others and watch TV all day. This is both a generational aspiration and a response to the great popularity of his blind brother, Robbie (Adam Scott).
Robbie is a bro in more than the literal sense of the word. He's shallow, insensitive and self-absorbed ("Nothing trumps being blind"), and after suffering one too many of Robbie's digs at his competence and character, Bill decides to do something about it. Enter "superficial narcissist" Rose (Jenny Slate, continuing the Parks and Rec reunion), whom Bill meets and sleeps with. She immediately regrets their one-night stand, coming as it does on the heels of the memorial for her ex-boyfriend, and insists she wants to devote her life to helping others. It doesn't take Tiresias to predict who that "other" person is going to be (hint: Robbie).

Written and directed by Sophie Goodhart, My Blind Brother explores this unconventional dynamic with gentle humor and a refreshing amount of sensitivity, brushing up against the more cringe-worthy aspects of her premise without reveling in them. When the movie works, it's thanks to its avoidance of the easy joke, and also its surprisingly nuanced performances.

Credits

Director:

  • Sophie Goodhart

Cast:

  • Jenny Slate
  • Zoe Kazan
  • Adam Scott
  • Nick Kroll
  • Talia Tabin

Writer:

  • Sophie Goodhart

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