I LOVE YOU, PAUL RUDD
I would pay to watch the man burn toast, but luckily I can watch him be aw-shucksy in these enjoyable, essential Rudd roles instead.
- •Peter Klaven, I Love You, ManA Segel/Rudd brom-com. He is the perfect unassuming nice realtor who doesn’t have any male friends because he thrusts himself entirely into every romantic relationship, and he just gets along better with women. So basically, Peter Klaven and I are exact opposites. He's so believable, though! Enter slovenly Sydney Fife, an investor, question mark, who fills the role of Peter’s friend/eventual Best Man, with some pitfalls and a Rush concert in between. Slappin’ the Bass. So. Fucking. Charming.
- •Pete, Knocked Up and This is 40He is great as a sarcastic, stuck-in-the-suburbs Dad still holding onto his youth, who has to sneak out of the house and hide his man-time-away-from-the-family fantasy baseball league from his wife, Leslie Mann. I imagine this is really what being married in your late thirties is like for most people. He somehow makes it look absolutely charming, even when he's playing bejeweled on the John.
- •Brian Fantana, Anchorman & Anchorman 2Sex Panther. 60% of the time, it works every time. Although on the ridiculous end of the Rudd role spectrum (range is ridiculous to swoon worthy earnest), still endearing in a very strange way.
- •Mike Hannigan, FriendsFriends defined my formative years, starting when I was about 9 and ending when I was 19 and there were many great cameos and castings in the show. His performance as Phoebe’s eventual husband Mike was delightful, from the ping pong war with frizzy-haired Monica to prevailing over NASA scientist Hank Azaria to win Phoebe’s affection. She's going to be Mrs. No Balls! He seemed really happy to be there and it shone through in his performance.
- •Scott Lang, Ant ManPaul Rudd is just so sincere in his roles and always seems like he is in on the joke, which makes him the perfect antihero Superhero. He doesn't take things too seriously and that Everyman relatability quotient is the key to his success.
- •Ned, Our Idiot BrotherUnderrated dramedy that has a lot of heart, and a stellar cast, including another cut from the cloth good, endearing guy, my other love, Adam Scott. + Elizabeth Banks, Rashida Jones, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Zooey Deschanel. This bearded Rudd is a little too bearded, but is offset by the orange crocs and his irrepressible spirit and positivity that he brings to Ned.
- •Josh, CluelessThis early role leaves a great impression, and although not his first onscreen character, probably the most notable. He and Alicia Silverstone had great chemistry as dueling ex-step-siblings-cum-lovers. He wears a KU baseball cap in the movie, and he wears it well. As if.
- •Chuck, Forgetting Sarah MarshallAnother Jason Segel + Paul Rudd combo which = Amazing bromantic chemistry. Tan scruffy Rudd is one of my favorite Rudds, so we're good. He's got a lot of fantastic platitudes to work with: I.e., When life hands you lemons, say fuck the lemons.
- •Danny, Role ModelsElizabeth Banks + Paul Rudd = Magic. I would watch anything the two of them are in together. Another good guy role as a guy stuck in a shitty job pimping Minotaur, an energy drink, with his ne’re-do-well friend Sean William Scott. Lessons are learned, Jane Lynch eats a sausage, KISS costumes are donned (Paul Rudd is Paul Stanley, the Starchild!), LARPing is done with Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb’e Thompson, and then all is well with the world. Kiss My Anthia.
- •George, WanderlustThe mirror scene is one of the most ridiculously over the top things I've ever seen...and I loved every second of it.
- •David, 40-Year-Old VirginThe fact that Michael McDonald drives him so crazy is why this role makes the list. The sardonic, forlorn co-worker of Steve Carrell's titular character, is just so sad and a bit delusional at times that you can't help but pity love him a little bit.
- •Andy, Wet Hot American SummerHe is an obnoxious, sleazy cheater, but that little element of danger is what makes him more attractive in this cast against typical Rudd role. And that makes him perfect in it.
- •Bobby Newport, Parks & RecreationThe bumbling, entitled, platinum-spoon-fed- product-of-nepotism opponent to Leslie Knope during a city council run. He was a great, incompetent foil to Leslie’s well-deserving, passionate civil servant. He’s still sweetly unnerved and unaware of himself, which is Rudd at his best.
- •Dave Paris, William Shakespeare's Romeo + JulietI know you’re not supposed to root for Paris, but in this adaptation he looked so earnest in that astronaut costume. But alas, Claire Danes offs herself for Leonardo DiCaprio, also not a bad choice. Mmm, pre-Titanic Leo.
- •Honorable mentionsObject of my Affection, Handsome Prince on Sesame Street, Dan Charles from One Direction SNL skit, Admission, They Came Together, This is the End, the Perks of Being a Wallflower, and basically everything else on his IMDB.