by Aaron Peck
We've already reviewed Paul Rudd's newest film 'Wanderlust,' which hits stores today. It's a charming little comedy starring one of the most likable male leads in Hollywood.
Rudd makes acting look effortless. He has that every-man quality that makes him seem like a genuinely nice guy, which is why he's so enjoyable to watch.
He's become one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. According to IMDb.com he has a total of nine movies in various stages of development right now.
It was difficult coming up with these lists, because Rudd is often the best part of a movie, even if it's a bad one. Take a look and see if you agree.
This was the movie that really ushered in the new generation of raunchy romantic comedies. It was filled to the brim with clever, witty gross-out humor, but it also had more than enough heart to win over even the most hardened critic. Even though Rudd isn't the main guy here I couldn't leave this one off the list. It's a modern-day comedic classic and will remain as such.
Brian Fantana is one of the most quotable guys on the ever-quotable 'Anchorman,' "Sixty percent of the time it works all the time." Rudd usually plays the down-to-earth every-day man in his movies so it's nice to see him put on a cocky swagger and thick broom-style mustache trying his hardest to please the ladies.
This is one of my all-time favorite buddy comedies. Like 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' 'I Love You, Man' has more heart than it knows what to do with, and somehow it takes a fairly formulaic story and turns it on its head with the aim being a bro-mance instead of a romance. His chemistry with Jason Segel is pitch-perfect here, and as always he's entirely likeable. If you're looking for a movie that will make you chuckle all the way through then this is it. Is it worth owning? "Totes Magotes."
People thought so highly of the neurotic couple played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann that they're actually getting their own spin-off movie that will come out later this year called 'This is 40.' Rudd is sort of a scoundrel here, but you can't help but love him. Especially when he and Seth Rogen do shrooms in Vegas and watch Cirque de Soleil.
Even though this movie got pretty mixed reviews I thought it was one of Rudd's stronger starring roles. Here he plays a Ned, an overly-tolerant hippie type, who allows people to take advantage of him because he always expects everyone to be generally good. He's always looking at the bright side of life even though he's surrounded by a family of narcissistic sisters. It was more of an independent film so it didn't reach the audience that the movies above did. That doesn't mean it isn't worth watching though.
It's hard for me to hate on Rudd, and to be truthful I actually thought he was OK here. The problem is the movie that's surrounding him. I had already grown tired of doltish Michael Scott, and Barry (Steve Carrell) is simply a stupider version of him. It's so frustrating watching a character who should know better. The whole time I kept saying, "Nobody can be this obtuse no matter how dumb they are." I just didn't buy into the premise, and therefore its wacky hijinks weren't even chuckle-worthy.
'The Oh in Ohio'
This is a small, relatively unknown film on Rudd's filmography. It stars the queen of indies, Parker Posey. I like both of them, but even their presence can't overcome a dull plot about a couple having problems with their sex life. Rudd is more or less likable, like he usually is, but the rest of the movie and its premise seems so forced and unnatural that it's hard to laugh at any of the required shenanigans Posey and Rudd find themselves in.
'Over Her Dead Body'
All that's required here is a summation of the movie's plot in order to grasp how bad this really is. Kate (Eva Longoria) and Paul (Rudd) are engaged. Kate dies, Paul visits a psychic (Lake Bell). Paul falls for said psychic, but his attempts to court her are constantly thwarted by the ghost Kate affecting their relationship from the great beyond. Even 'Ghost Dad' was funnier, and that wasn't funny. (It was also directed by Sidney Poitier. Depressing.)
'Wet Hot American Summer'
It's really hard to parody something that's already funny to begin with. You can parody far-too-serious action movies. You can parody overly dramatic movies. But it's very difficult to parody 80s comedies which were already tongue-in-cheek. While the effort to parody such a storied institution in cinema should be recognized, the end result was a tremendously uneven comedic adventure.
Sure this monstrosity of unfunny rests squarely on the shoulders of Jack Black, Michael Cera, and director Harold Ramis. That much is clear. However, even though Rudd isn't in the entire movie, it's still worth putting in the bottom section, simply because anyone associated with 'Year One,' no matter how small their part, will forever and always have this movie listed as one of the worst films they've ever been in. Blech!
That's it for our list of Paul Rudd's top five and bottom five films. How would you rank Rudd's filmography? He's been in tons of films so it was hard for me to rank all of them. Other honorable mentions would be 'Role Models,' 'Wanderlust,' and 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' (which I didn't include since Rudd's part is so small; yet on the other hand it's so memorable, so it was hard to cut out). Let us know in the forums how you'd rank his movies by following the link below.