Okay, I’ll admit it. I have not been a huge Paul Rudd fan. I didn’t dislike him, just didn’t get what all the shouting was about. He always seemed like this generation’s Steve Guttenberg – nice looking, sorta funny but sorta boring.
But now that he’s one of the Judd Apatow players and every comedy made today is either by Judd Apatow or tries to be by Judd Apatow, I’ve seen Rudd a lot more lately. I warmed to him in KNOCKED UP, thought he was hilarious as John Lennon in WALK HARD, but was really impressed with his work in ROLE MODELS.
ROLE MODELS was the funniest movie I saw this year (sorry LOVE GURU fans). Paul Rudd is also credited as one of the writers (along with fifty other people and probably another thirty uncredited), but his comic performance is what really stood out for me.
And here’s the thing – he had the least showy part.
Jane Lynch (pictured right) steals the movie (as she does every movie), and Bobb’e J. Thompson, the little African-American kid who plays the little African-American kid is a riot. Seann William Scott has one act but does it well. Christopher Mintz-Plasse playing a young “me” was pitch-perfect, and Elizabeth Banks can do no wrong ever in my book. But it was Rudd who made the movie work.
Because he REACTED.
His reactions to the world around him not only allowed everyone else to shine but also grounded the movie. And while he aced that he also managed to play a disgruntled unlikable character in such a way that you not only liked him, you loved him. Hey, that’s comic acting! A lot harder to do than just to mug so big an IMAX screen can’t contain you and yell “Smo-kinnnnn’!!!”
So for his timing, generosity, and whatever he contributed to the screenplay, Paul Rudd has officially won me over. Not that he knows who I am or gives a shit. But I’m sure he thinks it’s better that anyone elevates him above Steve Guttenberg.