Tag Archives: Paul Rudd

Knocked Up (2007)

The simplest way of putting it is to say that Knocked Up is Judd Apatow‘s best film.  I hesitate to say “best work” as there are so many Freaks and Geeks loyalists out there, including yours truly, but the completeness of Apatow’s second film rivals his prematurely ended and wonderfully nostalgic TV show, and I’m not sure it’s a stretch to say it may be the best thing he ever does.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Funny People, and I’ll certainly pay eight bucks to see whatever comes next, but following the uncontrolled kookiness of The 40 Year Old Virgin and coming before the pure self-indulgence of his Sandler/mid-life depression/look at my wife vehicle, Knocked Up seems to be a moment of near perfection on the unpredictable trajectory of Judd Apatow’s career.

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Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

The book of my life would have a good portion devoted to college.  So much of the person I am today was molded by those years of debaucherous youth.  Most of my friendships, most of my favorite memories, many of my firsts.  And as the distance grows, so does the nostalgia.  All the ridiculous moments and inside jokes seem more colorful in hindsight, and if there is anything about David Wain‘s Wet Hot American Summer that seems unflawed, it’s this same concept.  Like almost no other movie, Wet Hot achieves its real distinction in the joy of repeated viewings.  More than twenty if you really want to do it right.  Bizarre absurdity, which much of this movie banks on, becomes less offensive as it grows more familiar.  Not unlike the average college experience.

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The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

Judd Apatow‘s IMDb profile is weighted surprisingly towards films he’s produced.  As of today, he has 38 completed productions with another 10 in development, compared to 8 directorial features and TV shows (including one episode of The Larry Sanders Show).  Even his writing credits number in the mid-20s.  It’s this space between projects that forces the movies he has directed under a magnifying glass.  If he felt like it was good enough to direct and not just throw some money behind then I’m especially curious to see what the fuss is about.  On top of that (and this is a point I’ve made before), Apatow’s directed projects have an element of realism lacking in his productions.  Whether it’s taste, or effort, or simply coincidence, the films he’s directed work on a loftier plane.  In the case of The 40 Year Old Virgin this line, so evident when comparing, for example, Walk Hard to Funny People, seems to bleed a little bit, finding it’s reality through a thick pane of glass fogged by touches of absurdity and breeches of aggression.

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