Ruddtrospective #23: The Rudd Thus Far

Spoilers for all Paul Rudd movies and shows that I’ve reviewed at this point.

So obviously it’s been a while since I did a Ruddtrospective, and I thought I should try and get everyone back up to speed. Remind myself and my readers which Paul Rudd performances should be revered and which ones should be forgotten to the sands of time. So in the hopes of doing that I plan to rank every Paul Rudd movie and TV show(And also that commercial I reviewed that time) before I dive back into the well of crap that I’ve put off watching as long as I could. Hopefully people enjoy this! Because every piece of content that finds its way to the internet must be pure quality, and if this is not on the same level as the rest of the material on the internet I’ll have to answer to the internet police. The internet police, much like the regular police, pick weird small petty things to fixate on and largely ignore Twitter. So anyway, let’s get into it! Let’s rank all the Paul Rudd stuff I’ve watched using facts and scholarly evidence until I run out of steam and just throw the rest of them up there randomly!

35. F.R.I.E.N.D.S(1994-2004)
I’ve mentioned this before. I despise F.R.I.E.N.D.S. It’s the worst show and I hate it more than pretty much every TV show. Good for those six actors for getting an endless amount of money to do ten seasons of a brainless and terrible sitcom with maybe two jokes. And the funny thing is, I’m pretty sure I would be fine with it if Ross didn’t exist. I don’t know if it’s the writing or David Schwimmer or a combination of the two, but Ross is the most unlikable character that’s ever been in anything. He’s so whiny and entitled and horrible in every single way. Especially in the SEVENTEEN EPISODES I made myself watch for this. Ugh. Anyway, Paul Rudd is incredibly charming and attractive in this and that’s why he’s in this. But his performance doesn’t make these seventeen episodes watchable.
Rudd Rating: 6/10(I’ve downgraded this performance because I had to watch this show.)

34. This is the End(2013)
This movie is terrible and creepy and lecherous. I like the premise, but the execution is far too gross for me to enjoy it at all. The premise is that the rapture happens and these actors who are playing themselves have to suffer through it because they’re all horrible people. I like Craig Robinson and Seth Rogen in pretty much everything they’re in. I don’t really like Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, or Jonah Hill as actors. I’m sure they’re fine people but I don’t enjoy watching them. And I hate James Franco as a person and an actor. He’s not a good person, and he’s not a good actor. Paul Rudd is in this for two seconds and all he does is run and scream. Also the effects are terrible. There are incredibly insensitive jokes centered around both Emma Watson and Channing Tatum. And the ending is ridiculous. I’m on board with movies that don’t make a lot of sense and have ridiculous humor some of the time, but not here. This movie is terrible. But David Schwimmer isn’t in it.
Rudd Rating: 6/10(I watched this movie well before I did this blog thinking it would be funny and he’d be in it more. It isn’t and he wasn’t.)

33. The Perks of Being a Wallflower(2012)
This movie is super depressing. It’s about a bunch of depressed teens going to high school and being depressed and doing depressing things and occasionally they pop out of sunroofs and yell “WOOHOO!” and then you find out even more depressing things about the characters and there are depressing reveals and depressing relationships and depressing misunderstandings and they got the crazy lady from Two and a Half Men to play an even crazier and horrible aunt and it’s depressing and I hate it. I remember somewhat enjoying writing my original review for this because I got to make fun of all the actors being in other things by calling Emma Watson Hermione Granger, Logan Lerman Percy Jackson, Mae Whitman the DUFF, and Ezra Miller the Flash. But Ezra Miller has just become a worse person since then, making that joke more depressing. Also they’re not a good actor. Having now seen the DUFF I can confidently say that Mae Whitman is way better in this though. And again, this is a movie that Paul Rudd is hardly in, but he has the best line in the movie: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” He’s great as an English teacher. He should play teachers more often.
Rudd Rating: 6.2/10(I don’t want to think about this movie because it’s depressing and awful, but that line he says is good.)

32. Overnight Delivery(1998)
I have nothing to say about this movie that I haven’t said already. It’s a terrible and wacky road trip comedy about two people who clearly would never fall in love in real life, but the plot says they have to be in love, so they are. Paul Rudd is a real whiny asshole in this, but I’m pretty sure he’s supposed to be a sympathetic good guy. He isn’t.
Rudd Rating: 6.2/10(He’s very attractive in this.)

31. The Oh in Ohio(2006)
I never really did this movie justice in my initial review because talking about it makes me so uncomfortable. It’s about a woman who has never had an orgasm, and her dwindling relationship with her teacher husband. Paul Rudd plays the husband, and I’m still not sure why these two got married because it doesn’t seem like they ever liked each other. Also, you know how I just said Paul Rudd should play more teachers? Well he plays one in this and he has an affair with one of his students. So let me rephrase. He should play more teachers that aren’t creepy and horrible. The main character dumps Paul Rudd and begins exploring herself and trying new things, which leads her to have her first satisfying sexual experience with a ponytail-clad Danny DeVito. He plays Wayne the pool guy, a local businessman that she treats like a celebrity. At the end of the movie Paul Rudd tries to get back together with the main character, but Danny DeVito shows up at her dinner and waves pool floats in front of the restaurant window, which makes her laugh and remember that she wants to be with Danny DeVito. It’s a terrible and weird movie. I don’t know why it exists or who it was made for. There are tons of outrageous “jokes” that made me incredibly uncomfortable. But am I glad that my friend Josie and I decided to watch this on my birthday last year? Absolutely. Also Liza Minelli and Keith David are in this. So yeah.
Rudd Rating: 6.2/10(Whenever he plays a total creep well, I have to remind myself that he’s doing a good job with the material given. Even if, sometimes, his characters seem to be written as horrible unintentionally.)

30. Mute(2018)
I’m not huge on depressing Neo-noir sci-fi movies where horrible people do horrible things to each other, and that’s what this movie is. It’s about a mute Amish guy who falls in love with a bartender or something in the future. But then it turns out she was mixed up with this evil gangster who wants to get back to the US. This is Cactus Bill, played by Paul Rudd. And he works with a pedophilic surgeon, played by Justin Theroux. This movie is boring and depressing, but it’s okay. Paul Rudd is good as a villain, and this movie reminded me of that. So yeah.
Rudd Rating: 6.4/10(It’s funny that when Paul Rudd is meant to be a creep and horrible person, he’s still portrayed as somewhat sympathetic, but when he’s meant to be a good guy, like in Overnight Delivery, he seems like more of an ass. That’s only in bad movies, though.)

29. Dinner For Schmucks(2010)
This movie is another example of Paul Rudd seeming like an asshole, but he also has to deal with Steve Carell playing a character that could not exist in real life. Steve Carell’s character, Barry, is likable sometimes, but he constantly undermines this by doing stupid things that no real person would ever do, no matter how unaware of their surroundings they may be. Basically Paul Rudd plays a guy who needs a promotion at work, and in order to do that he has to go to this dinner where executives put together a group of “schmucks” or weirdos, and make fun of them. And Paul Rudd meets Barry, who makes models with dead mice and stuff. And hijinks ensue! It sucks. But Jermaine Clement is in it, and Jermaine Clement rocks.
Rudd Rating: 6.5/10(Playing the straight man in something is almost never fun. You basically just have to be a normal guy who acts like a dick sometimes and then learns a lesson. And he does it well because most of the time he’s still charming.)

28. I Could Never Be Your Woman(2007)
This is a movie about an “older woman”, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, who is living in an age where older people get plastic surgery to look younger. You know this because there’s a weird-ass montage at the beginning where “Mother Earth” shows you all the old people getting plastic surgery. And eventually Michelle Pfeiffer falls for Paul Rudd, who plays a much younger actor on the TV show she works on. This movie only works if you can look past how young Michelle Pfeiffer looks. And you can’t, really. She’s only eleven years younger than Paul Rudd. It’s also funny because she’s in Ant-Man and the Wasp as a character who is also in her sixties, and yet Paul Rudd is playing a guy in his late thirties and looks the same as he did in this. But Paul Rudd is charming and that saves it for the most part.
Rudd Rating: 6.6/10(You can’t help but like the guy.)

27. Over Her Dead Body(2008)
This movie isn’t great or terrible. It’s just another movie(Because for some reason there are multiple) about a guy with a dead wife who won’t let his new girlfriend be with him. It’s kind of funny, and that’s about it.
Rudd Rating: 6.6/10(He’s kind of whiny and they don’t give him a lot to do, but he has some funny scenes at his job. He’s a veterinarian in this.)

26. Our Idiot Brother(2011)
This movie isn’t very memorable, despite the fact that multiple legendary and hilarious comedic actors are in this. Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Kathryn Hahn, T.J. Miller(Sucks), and Sterling K Brown are all in this movie. But it’s not funny. It’s just a nothing comedic drama about a hapless guy and his three sisters and how they yell at him even though he’s really nice most of the time. It’s not bad, it’s just fine.
Rudd Rating: 6.8/10(Again he’s very charming, but I don’t know if I love him with long hair and a long beard.)

25. The Shrink Next Door(2021)
This is just a depressing and real story about a psychiatrist who took control of his client’s life, isolated him from his sister, took his beach house and his money, and used him to live the life he wish he had. I think it could have been a movie, but it’s a fine TV show. I also think that Paul Rudd did a great job of portraying a guy who clearly was incredibly broken on the inside. I would never watch it again or recommend it to someone, but I thought it was fine.
Rudd Rating: 7/10(He never really gets to do serious dramatic acting, so it was nice to see him trying something new.)

24. All Is Bright(2013)
This is another depressing movie about a guy who just got out of prison and now needs to sell trees with the guy dating his wife in order to afford a Christmas present for his daughter. Paul Rudd plays a complete dick in this with a couple of redeeming qualities. Overall I kind of like this movie.
Rudd Rating: 7/10(His weird pseudo-Canadian accent doesn’t always work, but he’s good in this.)

23. Ghostbusters: Afterlife(2021)
I’ve mentioned multiple times that I didn’t really like this movie. I think it’s fine, but it’s just a rehash of the first Ghostbusters, and if it wasn’t for all the nostalgia and love for the original movie, this wouldn’t really be anything. A movie that only really works if you’re nostalgic for another movie isn’t a good movie. And I didn’t enjoy it that much. That being said, Paul Rudd is insanely hot in this. The hair and beard combo? Wowza! They’re making a sequel to this, but I’m not entirely sure if he’ll be in it or not.
Rudd Rating: 7.1/10(He gets an extra point for looking super hot, but he disappears for half the movie.)

22. Admission(2013)
I don’t remember hating or loving this movie. It’s just fine. His character isn’t that interesting, he’s just there to be Tina Fey’s very attractive will they/won’t they love interest while her life falls apart in very dramatic ways. From memory it’s mostly about Tina Fey being a great admissions counselor that realizes how toxic her college is when she realizes a child she gave up years ago might be denied admission. It’s fine.
Rudd Rating: 7.1/10(He’s VERY good looking.)

21. Clueless(1996)
This movie isn’t really about anything! It’s just a stuck-up rich girl walking around and judging people and helping Wallace Shawn fall in love and stuff. I’ve never really liked it. And the fact that Paul Rudd ends up with her even though they used to be step-siblings? That’s kinda creepy. But it’s also the movie that launched his career. So yeah. I don’t know.
Rudd Rating: 7.5/10(He is very charming and fun in this movie, but it gets less points because he has a creepy beard in different scenes.)

20. The Object of my Affection(1998)
If you want to watch a thing with Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in it, this should be the go-to pick. F.R.I.E.N.D.S is terrible, as mentioned, and Wanderlust, a movie I have not yet reviewed, isn’t very good either. This one is about a gay guy who is befriended by Jennifer Aniston, a woman who clearly has a massive crush on him. And eventually she gets pregnant and he promises to help her, furthering her non-platonic love for this man who will never have any romantic interest in her. And it’s fine. I don’t know.
Rudd Rating: 7.5/10(Paul Rudd is known for his comedic performances, but every once in a while he reminds you what a great dramatic actor he is. This is one of those performances.)

19. Prince Avalanche(2013)
This movie is perfectly fine. From memory there are some weird voiceover bits that don’t make a ton of sense, but for a movie about two guys yelling at each other in the woods? It’s fun enough. Also Paul Rudd looks like Luigi, and that’s kind of funny.
Rudd Rating: 7.3/10(Good performance, but his weird mustache makes him look less attractive. Actually, nevermind. I just looked at some photos. It isn’t the mustache. It’s the weird road-painting uniform.)

18. What If…? S1 E5: What If…? Zombies?!(2021)
From memory this was one of my favorite What If…? episodes. It’s a fun episode with cool zombie stuff, and Paul Rudd plays a head in a jar. So yeah.
Rudd Rating: 7.8/10(Paul Rudd is a great voice actor and he should be in more animated movies.)

17. Saturday Morning All-Star Hits!(2021)
I never finished this, but I remember loving the concept. It’s some guy that used to be on SNL doing a weird show where he plays two brothers or friends that host a Saturday morning cartoon lineup. And all the shows are super 90’s but also weirdly aggressive and adult in tone. The Paul Rudd segment is about a businessman who strikes up a relationship with weird care bear knockoffs that are also kind of drug addicts? And they kind of ruin his life before making him very successful? I don’t know. I watched it in 2021. It’s been a while.
Rudd Rating: 7.3/10(I’m still not sure why he was in this, but like I said, he’s a good voice actor.)

16. Anchorman: The Legend Continues(2013)
It has much the same plot as the first movie, but like most sequels to popular comedy movies that are made ten years later, they just retread all the jokes from the first one in slightly different ways. But Paul Rudd is funny. He isn’t given much to do. That’s my issue with the Anchorman movies. They’re really just Will Ferrell’s movies and the other three are sidelined. Which is fine. They’re meant to be about Ron Burgundy. But the other three are all just different versions of sexist and dumb.
Rudd Rating: 7.5/10(It’s impressive that he was able to actually grow that hair/mustache combo. Not just once, but twice! Insane. He’s got very versatile hair in general.)

15. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy(2004)
As I said, I’ve never been a big fan of these movies. Improv comedies that are just about actors bullshitting around are never really my cup of tea, especially when you can tell they made it up as they went along. This is easily better than the second one though, and it’s still pretty funny. I might have said this when I reviewed it, but the original pitch was that a plane full of 1970’s TV anchormen crash-lands on a mountainside with another plane that’s carrying a bunch of wild orangutans and Chinese throwing stars. I really wish that movie had been made. This one’s okay too though.
Rudd Rating: 8/10(This movie automatically gets a higher rating because he says one of his most iconic lines: “60% of the time it works every time.”)

14. Paul Rudd/Seth Rogen Lay’s Commercial(2022)
Objectively nothing about this is better than Anchorman, but I enjoy the idea that Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen are in love with Lay’s this much. Also it does that thing that some commercials do where the bags of chips are completely straight and free of wrinkles, and I would love to know whose job it is to make fake chip bags for commercials. I don’t know. It’s also shorter than Anchorman by quite a bit.
Rudd Rating: 8.4/10(Paul Rudd doing ridiculous things as himself will never not be fun to see.)

13. The 40 Year-Old Virgin(2005)
I don’t know why I don’t love this movie more. It’s funny, but again it’s a movie that’s mostly improv and meanders along without a plot. I like it though. Steve Carell is really good in this. I like the store he works at. And I enjoy watching Catherine Keener play a non-menacing and terrible character for once. She’s so good at being menacing!
Rudd Rating: 8.5/10(I don’t really like his character, and I know that’s probably the point. But the bit where he asks Jane Lynch if they can get rid of the store’s Michael McDonald CD is pure gold.)

12. Knocked Up(2007)
I don’t even know if I like this movie that much. I mean, it’s pretty good and people I like are in it. And there’s the bit where Paul Rudd gets high on acid and looks at a bunch of different chairs. I think ranking movies is making me go insane. What is the point of anything? Why am I doing this? And why are they making a sequel to A Christmas Story where Ralphie grows up and tries to give his kids a great Christmas like the one he had as a kid, even though I thought the whole point of that movie is that he had a really depressing Christmas and his dad was mean and kind of abusive? I don’t know. Knocked Up is a good movie. I think.
Rudd Rating: 8.5/10(He’s a side character in this and they don’t give him much to do compared to the sequel, but he’s fun and sarcastic and mean.)

11. Gen-Y Cops(2000)
Maybe I should place this higher on the list. It’s so unbelievably ridiculous and terrible and poorly acted. It’s funny how bad it is. Watching a bunch of poorly-dubbed actors run around and fight weird CGI robots is not something I thought I would enjoy. And the idea that Paul Rudd is in this makes no sense. If you don’t want to waste time by watching the whole movie like I did, even though I think everyone should see this, you should look up “Learn Cantonese with FBI agent Paul Rudd” on the Graham Norton YouTube channel.
Rudd Rating: 11/10(He agreed to do this as a joke, and they made him bleach his hair blonde. Do you need me to explain why he’s great in this stupid movie?)

10. Ideal Home(2018)
Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan play gay upper-crust food network people with a grandson that shows up out of the blue. And I really like this movie. I think it’s great. I don’t know if I’m wrong and it’s offensive or just bad and I’m stupid. Not sure. It’s a good movie, I think.
Rudd Rating: 9/10(Paul Rudd is both incredibly attractive and very funny in this movie. And him and Steve Coogan argue a bunch. So yeah.)

9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall(2008)
This is yet another good movie. It’s very funny and I enjoy watching Paul Rudd play a dumb surfer in Hawaii. I also know that he got a really weird-looking tan in order to make this. And this was right before I Love You, Man, which is an even better movie.
Rudd Rating: 9/10(Even with a couple of short scenes, Paul Rudd managed to steal the show in this movie.)

8. Parks and Recreation(2009-2015)
Parks and Rec is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. Possibly my favorite, although Community and Severance are recent clear frontrunners. And season four is probably my favorite season. My main complaint about Parks and Rec‘s Bobby Newport appearances is that Paul Rudd doesn’t show up nearly enough and from memory he has no interactions with Ron Swanson. But yeah. Parks and Rec is far superior to The Office, which isn’t that good to begin with. Fight me.
Rudd Rating: 9.5/10(I love the character of Bobby Newport. I wish he was in the show more though.)

7. The Little Prince(2015)
I’ve never actually read The Little Prince book, but this is a great movie. A bittersweet story about how growing up doesn’t mean you have to lose your imagination. And it switches between animation styles. All the scenes in the real world look like The Incredibles and all the scenes from the book look like papier mache. This is a great movie and everyone should watch it.
Rudd Rating: 9.5/10(Again, Paul Rudd is a great voice actor and he should be in more animated movies. I know you’re reading this, Paul Rudd. Be in more animated movies!!!)

6. Ant-Man(2015)
This isn’t my favorite Marvel movie. I think it’s still Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But it’s still very close. It’s funny and perfectly cast. I enjoyed the weird small-scale low-stakes heist plotline. I like Michael Douglas and his weird bickering with Paul Rudd. This is a great movie and I hope the new one is good.
Rudd Rating: 9.5/10(This is the quintessential Paul Rudd performance. The slightly dumb charm of his version of Scott Lang is so unbelievably great. I love Ant-Man and I refuse to believe the people who think he’s gonna die in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.)

5. The Fundamentals of Caring(2016)
This is one of those movies based on a book written for teenagers, except it’s not bad or generic. It doesn’t feel like someone’s doing a John Green impression. It’s weird that Selena Gomez is in this road trip drama comedy about a sad writer and a British dick. But also the sad writer and British dick are really good characters. I don’t know. I love this entire top 10. Any of them could change rankings at any time, depending on my mood. I’ve seen this particularly movie a good eight times and I like it more every time even though it’s kind of depressing.
Rudd Rating: 10/10(I don’t know why, but I don’t exactly believe Paul Rudd as a writer. He’s very good in this though. I can’t think of much else to say.)

4. Role Models(2008)
As I’ve mentioned before, this movie has some of my favorite lines in anything ever. I don’t really understand why I love it so much. I dislike most of the other movies that David Wain makes, but this one is so random and ridiculous and nothing in this movie makes any sense. Why are two people that just committed a crime being put in charge of small children? Why did anybody let this weird movie end in a Larping tournament. I love this movie. It’s great. Watch it. Everyone should watch the top ten things on this list. Top eleven, actually.
Rudd Rating: 10/10(This is of my favorite Paul Rudd performances of all time. Watching him run through a park dressed as one of the members of KISS and hitting people with a foam sword makes me unbelievably happy.)

3. This is 40(2012)
I was surprised by how much I loved this movie on rewatch. It’s probably my favorite Judd Apatow movie. Although Trainwreck is also very funny. But yeah. This ranking is ludicrous. If you want to watch a long movie about two married people yelling at each other and being miserable, then you should watch this one. I haven’t seen many other movies from the “They should probably get divorced” genre, but I imagine this is the best one. Great soundtrack too. Also Leslie Mann, Chris O’Dowd and Megan Fox are all very good in this.
Rudd Rating: 10/10(There’s a hilarious bit where Paul Rudd tells Leslie Mann that she’s made him the Art Garfunkel of his own life. That should be quoted more. I can’t tell if the Paul Simon song they play at the end is meant to be a reference to this or not.)

2. I Love You, Man(2009)
This might have been the movie that made me fall in love with Paul Rudd as an actor. It’s so funny and cringey and watching Paul Rudd and Jason Segel become awkward best friends is just really funny. Also the soundtrack is amazing and there’s like ninety different actors from other things that I love who just show up and spout hilarious one-liners. It’s just a really good movie that more people should watch.
Rudd Rating: 10/10(Paul Rudd knows how to be awkward and hilarious.)

1. Living With Yourself(2019)
It may not be for everyone, but this is easily my favorite Paul Rudd thing. It’s funny, it’s depressing, it’s weirdly sci-fi sort of. The great Aisling Bea plays Paul Rudd’s wife, and does a great job too. I just really, really like this show. I think everyone should watch it. Also now it kind of reminds me of Severance, which is easily my favorite TV show of 2022. But yeah. Please go to Netflix and watch Living With Yourself.
Rudd Rating: 10/10(As I said before about Paul Rudd and his dramatic performances, he really is a terrific actor. This show proves why he’s such a good actor. He put in two great performances at the same time. I love this show.)

I make a lot of jokes about people not reading the things I write, but if there’s any blog post I guarantee nobody will read, it’s this one. And why should you? This one in particular took me a while. I’ve been reluctant to jump back into Ruddtrospectives because I’ve used up most of his good movies and I’ve got some weird shit on the horizon. But I set out on a mission to review every Paul Rudd movie and I will not give that up. My plan is to start publishing these more regularly again, probably on a monthly or twice-monthly basis. I definitely want to finish covering his Marvel movies before Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania comes out in February. But yeah. I’m back, baby! Sorry if you read this.

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