Adam Scott and Jenny Slate in My Blind Brother (Starz Digital)

Adam Scott and Jenny Slate in My Blind Brother (Starz Digital)

My Blind Brother is a romcom that, despite four lovely lead performances, comes off as anemic and flat. The setup is that Bill (Nick Kroll), a mid-30s slacker who manages a copy shop, plays second fiddle in his town and family to his blind, handsome brother, Robbie (Adam Scott). Robbie runs marathons for the local charity for the blind and has been on local TV “four times in the last six years,” and Bill acts as his brother’s Seeing Eye dog and trainer, rolled up in one resentful package.

After being berated by his entire family for not wanting to immediately train for another event, Bill heads out to a bar and meets Rose (Jenny Slate), a morose young woman who feels responsibility for her boyfriend’s recent death. They click and have a one-night stand, and she leaves embarrassed. When Robbie decides to swim across the bay for charity, Bill refuses to help, so Robbie finds someone else. Turns out to be a lady. You can guess who.

After that, the various complications that one expects ensue. This isn’t an issue in and of itself. You watch When Harry Met Sally and you know pretty much what’s going to happen. The problem with this comedy is the tone, which is specific to a certain type of indie film. Everyone’s feelings are muted to make the action more realistic. The soundtrack is typical sensitive acoustic. It’s just too cookie cutter.

And no matter how good the actors are, they can’t rise above the mundane. And the actors are good: Kroll does hangdog at least as well as Paul Giamatti, Scott is the quintessential self-involved jerk, Slate is simply luminous, and Zoe Kazan makes a mountain out of a part as thinly drawn as anything you would see in a “Transformers” movie.

It seems the big gimmick of the film is that, hey, disabled folk can be real jerks, too, which is a stunning revelation to no one. That’s what sets this apart from any other sensitive indie romcom. And that’s some thin gruel.

Written and Directed by Sophie Goodhart
Released by Starz Digital
USA. 85 min. Rated R
With Nick Kroll Jenny Slate, Adam Scott, and Zoe Kazan