If you have never had a loved one clout you with your own hand while telling you to “stop hitting yourself,” you are undoubtedly the eldest or the only child in your family. Who but a sibling empowered by a few years’ advantage in size and smarts and unencumbered by adult conscience or legal liability can do so much psychic damage?
Most adults must wait for Thanksgiving to revisit (then with any luck, repress) the memories of childhood battles, but every year or two, the movies allow us catharsis. In 2008, Step Brothers, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy starring the eponymous Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, was the film that made us all realize that maybe our own families weren’t really so bad. Now, in 2011, comes Our Idiot Brother, whose comic exaggeration allows us to laugh at the kind of intimate atrocities we assuredly did not find funny the first time we experienced them. Unless we were the ones committing them. […]