Author: Caitlin Simpson
Realistically, you probably won’t catch me watching many romantic comedies in my spare time, but even I was intrigued by Adam Scott playing an athletic blind man who also happens to be an asshole. This is a film that leans more towards the ‘romantic’ than the ‘comedy’, but the heart that it displays makes up for it.
My Blind Brother focuses on Bill (Nick Kroll), a very ordinary man who constantly feels inadequate next to his blind brother, Robbie. Robbie also happens to be a well-loved athlete, and Bill’s life revolves around helping him train and compete. Both men end up pursuing Rose (Jenny Slate) and the obvious tension ensues.
While following Robbie’s athletic pursuits, Rose begins to take over some of Bill’s usual duties. As Robbie prepares for a marathon swim across the lake, Rose dates him, but it’s clear she has eyes for Bill. It’s a typical love triangle story, which is probably the most generic part of it all. However, with My Blind Brother, there’s also the darker humour present, since Bill is trying to steal his blind brother’s girlfriend.
Kroll works quite well as a romantic lead, which isn’t something I thought I’d say. However, it’s Slate and the dynamic between Bill and Rose that caught my attention. Jenny Slate is beautiful in this, and probably the highlight for me, despite the film ultimately being about the brothers. Rose is multi-dimensional, and brings her own issues to the table, which is refreshing.
This film certainly subverts a few stereotypes relating to the visually impaired; Robbie is a very confident and capable athlete who tends to use his brother as a doormat. It’s safe to say he’s not the nicest guy around, and it leads to a complicated love-hate sibling dynamic.
My Blind Brother is the epitome of awkward comedy, and it isn’t completely immune to some blunders. The script isn’t as humorous as it probably thinks it is, but it is, nevertheless, still an easy-going watch. The few truly comedic moments come naturally to a cast that is obviously very comfortable in the genre. Still, there are many moments where the comedy derives from simply placing characters in some sort of awkward situation, which comes across as rather weak.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this film was written, directed (Sophie Goodhart) and edited (Jennifer Lee) by women, which may have played a good hand in why the female lead has substance and a strong voice. The industry is constantly campaigning for more female writers and directors to have their voices heard, so it’s nice to see it slowly happening across multiple genres.
While it’s certainly dressed as a comedy, My Blind Brother manages to delve into much deeper themes, making it a pleasant, enjoyable film. While not fantastic, it’s definitely a go-to for a date night or if you’re looking for something light to watch.
SCREEN REALM SCORE: ★★★☆☆
‘My Blind Brother’ will be available on DVD and Digital from May 23.