Slate Says “Save Paul Rudd”? My Man Crush On Him Says Otherwise
This weekend, even though it looks fairly stupid, I’m going to pay some good, hard-earned cashed and see “Dinner For Schmucks”. You may ask why Cinematically Correct, why would you do such a thing? Is it because you love “The Office” and think Steve Carell is a comedic genius? Do you enjoy the awkward absurdity of Zach Galifianakis or Jemaine Clement? Why yes, I do like those things. However, the evil Jay Roach directed this thing and considering everything he touches is complete and utter garbage (well, except “Recount”), it should be the #1 reason to keep me away. After all, I haven’t seen “Date Night” because of my belief that Tina Fey is incredibly unfunny so the Carell factor is right out.
No, my main reason to see this is Paul Rudd. Not only did I see “Role Models” and “I Love You Man” on their opening weekends, I own them. You name a movie he’s in from the last ten years or so and there’s a good chance that I a) love it and b) own it.
See…I have man crush on Paul Rudd. There, I said it. He hasn’t been in a movie in which he didn’t steal a scene in quite some time. My opinion of Rudd is what has me a bit confused after reading this Slate article about him titled “Save Paul Rudd”. The writer, Elbert Ventura, picks apart Rudd’s recent movies and tries to give him backhanded praise by calling the movies “conventional”, a “lazy mess”, or “exhausted retreads”. I completely beg to differ.
In too cool for school fashion (which for me to say is like the pot calling the kettle black), Ventura lavishes praise on “Wet Hot American Summer”. Do I agree with him that Rudd dominates that movie as a full-on sleazeball? Yeah, he does. This is such an easy movie to target as “the one that he was really great” since virtually no one has ever seen it. I think people should see it, but it is way too odd and bizarre to get that far in the mass public. But can a hipster writer for Slate identify it? Well, of course he can silly.
But Ventura makes it seem like he went downhill from there. Was “Anchorman”‘s Brian Fantana much different than the scummy camp counselor in “Wet Hot American Summer”? Not so much. Rudd is able to pull these parts off because he’s good looking enough and just absurd enough for you to not completely hate the character. You have to like them a little bit or else you won’t laugh, you’ll cringe and wince your way through the movie.
Ventura thinks Rudd pretty much quit there. I don’t think so. His gradual downward spiral in “The 40-Year Old Virgin” is one for the books. He starts off as a lovelorn ex-boyfriend, yearning for his lady but by the end of the movie, he’s a train wreck. Not only does he pull that off nicely, he and Seth Rogen participated in one of the greatest ad-libbed moments in movie history. You know it.
In “Knocked Up”, he got to play a married guy that can’t seem to completely grow up. In this, he says and does a few things that aren’t sleazy as much as they are inconsiderate. He’s not playing a bad guy so much as he may just be a funny, charming guy who isn’t the best husband. Not to be too melodramatic, but this is a very “real” role for him. Again, his charm and ability to convey that he’s a good guy get you through it. He also does a killer Robert De Niro impression.
Now, we get to his two starring roles in “Role Models” and “I Love You Man”. He plays completely different in each of them and kills in both. He’s cynical to the Nth degree in “Role Models” and there hasn’t been a role yet that enabled him to show off how dryly hilarious he can be. Honestly? It’s my favorite role he’s had to date. All I’ll say about “I Love You Man” is that if you have seen it, you’ve imitated him saying “slappin’ the bass”. You know you have.
Why all this in response to one silly article I read? Well, because that article, while meant to be complimentary to Paul Rudd, is effectively a slap to the face and/or bass. You like Paul Rudd…but you seem to hate all the movies that he’s in? That doesn’t make much sense to me.
So to sum up…umm…you should like Paul Rudd. So, talk to you later Jobin.