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Admit it - you have a crush on multi-talented actor Paul Rudd. Or you should. As a former man-genue (Clueless) turned serious actor (The Shape of Things) turned comedy bright light (Anchorman, Knocked Up), he's consistently been an engaging and witty part of our cultural zeigeist.
You're going to love him even more with Friday's release of Role Models, a raunchy, hilarious surprise that takes a hoary premise (cool dudes mentor disadvantaged kids) and makes it into something way funnier, raunchier, and weirder than it should be. It's a pleasure to see a film that's generous to its subjects, whether it's LARP-ing (live-action role play), the rock band KISS, a foul-mouthed kid (the hilarious Bobb'e J. Thompson), the girlfriend character (made impressively real by Elizabeth Banks) or the various actors from the late, great MTV sketch show The State.
Rudd's the anchor of the film as a sardonic and depressed misanthrope with impeccable comic timing. What's exciting, though, is that Rudd co-wrote (!) Role Models, and it reunites him with director David Wain (better known as one of the geniuses behind The State and Wet Hot American Summer) .
If all is right with the world, Role Models will be a hit and Rudd can continue to be one of the best things about movies, TV, and the web. In tribute to this starring role, we wanted to highlight some hidden Rudd gems, from viral video to underseen films.
1. The Chateâu: A forgotten film from the heady days of when digital films looked...really awful visually, The Chateâu is a secret treat: a really funny piece about two brothers, Rudd and Romany Malco (The 40 Year Old Virgin), who inherit the titular manse.
2. Wet Hot American Summer: Definitely part of the cult canon, this satire of the 80s summer camp genre features Rudd (and many more, like Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Banks) as the Hottest Alpha Guy at camp. "You taste like a burger."
3. Paul Rudd, along with Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Judd Apatow in "Backlash" (Rated R for language)
Yeah, it's a Funnyordie.com ad for Walk Hard. But check out Rudd's impeccable timing; he can make you laugh just by his delivery.
4. Paul Rudd parodying VH1's The Pick Up Artist, Mystery, in David Wain's web-series, "Wainy Days."
Want more snarky Rudd? Check out this (NSFW, again, language) clip from The Michael Showalter Showalter, where Rudd and Showater parody David O. Russell's freakouts on the set of I Heart Huckabees.
5. Paul Rudd dancing in Amy Heckerling's I Could Never Be Your Woman, a Michelle Pfeiffer vehicle with a convoluted road to release: