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Dumb and Dumber

In honor of ‘Our Idiot Brother,’ opening Friday, watch 11 dumbest movie brothers, from Fredo to Bart Simpson. By Marlow Stern.

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Donald Kaufman—‘Adaptation’

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In this surrealist Charlie Kaufman–penned flick from director Spike Jonze, Nicolas Cage plays both Charlie and Donald Kaufman. Charlie, based on Kaufman’s real-life, hyper-neurotic persona, is an accomplished screenwriter who becomes obsessed with writing a faithful film adaptation of Susan Orlean’s (Meryl Streep) short story, The Orchid Thief. Meanwhile, his fatuous—and fictional—twin brother, Donald, sidetracks Charlie with his ideas for various cliché-ridden films, including a psychological thriller called The 3, which he sells to a major studio for six or seven figures. Charlie’s screenwriting struggle is, in reality, one big metaphor for the different forces acting within himself, as well as a cheeky homage to the Epstein Brothers, who wrote arguably the greatest screenplay of all-time: Casablanca. But that doesn’t diminish Donald’s idiocy.

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