The Essential Paul Rudd Watchlist

Paul Rudd has been having the time of his last the past few months. From being named People's Sexiest Man to hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. Here at Wealth of Geeks, we love to help you find the best films to watch featuring your favorite actors.

The Essential Paul Rudd Watchlist

Paul Rudd is one of our more fascinating actors. From being a comedic genius to everyone’s dream boyfriend from Clueless and beyond, there are plenty of movies to love out of Rudd’s filmography. And now, with Ghostbusters: Afterlife out and fans getting to see Rudd in a new light, let’s talk about some movies that he’s starred in that we love.

From This Is 40 to Ant-Man and more, let’s talk about Paul Rudd’s movies and what to watch to enjoy everyone’s favorite immortal being.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

40 year old virgin

While we all love to scream Kelly Clarkson’s name like Steve Carell in this movie, The 40-Year-Old Virgin does also feature Paul Rudd as an annoying friend who loves to mock his friends and their journeys in life. The movie isn’t one that has probably aged well and even at the time, it had jokes that weren’t great in it but there is something charming about Paul Rudd in any movie that made part of it worth it.

The movie is simple: Andy (Carell) is a 40-year-old man who loves his action figures and works at a media store but he is also a virgin. When his friends find out, their goal is to help him lose his virginity and it goes sideways at every given turn. First of all, let him have his toys. I know it was 2005 but RUDE. Second, this movie is the epitome of boys being boys but also it is sadly funny at times so do it for Rudd.

Image Credit: Universal Pictures. 

This Is 40

this is 40 scaled

Only Paul Rudd can take a secondary character and make him so interesting that fans want to see a spin-off story about him and that is what happened with This Is 40. Based on Rudd’s character from Knocked Up who was married to Leslie Mann’s Debbie, Rudd played Pete who is a man who loved music, baseball, and was trying to navigate his life as a father outside of still trying to be true to himself.

This Is 40 works because of Rudd and Mann’s power together but also has iconic moments like Maude Apatow crying about finishing Lost as a show (highly relatable). It is a romantic comedy of sorts about a couple who have already been together and are just trying to understand who they are within their relationship but it is surprisingly charming and fun and that is fully because of Paul Rudd and his ability as an actor to rope you into his character’s story and keep you there.

Image Credit: Universal Pictures. 

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

anchorman

Every moment of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is pure chaos. It is part of the nature of that sort of comedy but when you have Paul Rudd as Brian spraying himself with a cologne called “Sex Panther” that has bits of a panther in it, you’re bound to find yourself hysterically laughing outside of your control. Rudd isn’t the star of Anchorman but his Brian Fantana is a hilarious take on the news anchors of the past and makes you want to laugh out loud while still thinking about what it must have been like to watch the news in the 70s.

Now, the Anchorman movies do include a battle between all the anchors in the surrounding area with weapons, and Brick may have killed a man but they’re still hilariously fun and movies that are easily quotable even now.

Image Credit: DreamWorks Pictures. 

I Love You Man

i love you man

Sometimes, you need a friend and that’s what happened with Peter (Paul Rudd). A man who went from one relationship to another and never really had any friends to hang out with, he realizes when he’s getting married that he doesn’t have a best man so he starts to hang out with Sydney (Jason Segel) and the two form a weird friendship that includes Lou Ferrigno?

Released in 2009, I Love You Man is very much a product of its time but also is one of those comedies we’ve come to know and expect from Rudd and Segel, who also worked together in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. They’re dynamic, hilarious, and explore the strange world of making new friends as adults and what that means for two men who don’t really have friends to begin with. Plus, having Segel and Rudd in anything makes it that much better and it just works in I Love You Man.

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures. 

Ant-Man

ant man paul rudd What’s better than a regular Paul Rudd in a movie? A superpowered Paul Rudd. When Rudd joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man) many had questions. Mainly about how they were going to make Ant-Man cool but it helped to have someone as fascinating and wonderful as Rudd leading the charge.

His Scott Lang is smart, funny, and a man just trying to be a good dad to Cassie Lang, and if it wasn’t for Scott Lang, who knows where the world would be. But Ant-Man is a great look into the charisma that Rudd has. He manages to make a character that no one really loved before into someone so cool that kids love talking about Ant-Man now. Scott Lang is so fused with Rudd now that it is strange to think about Ant-Man as a character without just picturing Paul Rudd attached and that’s part of his charm and power.

Image Credit: Marvel Studios. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

perks of being a wallflower

Mr. Anderson is an important part of The Perks of Being a Wallflower because he is the teacher who gives Charlie (Logan Lerman) an ear to talk to and Paul Rudd brings him to life so beautifully that it gives new meaning to the character. Based on the novel by Stephen Chbosky, the movie is a look at finding yourself while overcoming your past in a beautiful and poignant way.

Starring Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Rudd, and more, the movie (which is directed by Chbosky as well) is a love letter to growing up and exploring who we all are. Personally, the movie is a great adaptation of the book and gives us answers to questions (like what song was playing on the radio that night they drove through the tunnel) but also is just a beautiful nod to understanding who we all are. Sometimes, we need a Sam or a Patrick or even a Mr. Anderson.

Image Credit: Summit Entertainment. 

Wet Hot American Summer

wet hot american summer scaled

We all have our first Paul Rudd movie and for the most part, it is all the same movie. But what if, instead, we showed new fans Wet Hot American Summer first? A movie that is making fun of the “camp” 80s movie, Wet Hot American Summer brought us Paul Rudd as Andy, the camp “cool boy” who was dating Katie while Coop wanted to be her boyfriend.

Will I ever get over Amy Poehler as Susie giving Andy a speech in the TV show and Paul Rudd just standing in front of a door silhouetted by the sun? No, no I will not. But that all stems back to the original movie and the absolutely wild and hilarious performance that Rudd gives. Andy wants to make out with everyone and even though he’s dating Katie, he has a life to live and he’s our resident bad boy so we love him most of all.

Image Credit: USA Films. 

They Came Together

they came together

Joel and Molly are in their own rom-com making fun of rom-coms and it is glorious. Starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, They Came Together is poking fun at the genre of romantic comedies while also paying homage to them. It is easy to make a mockery of something but why Rudd’s career works so well is because he’s doing it from a place of love. They Came Together marries his charming ability on-screen with Amy Poehler’s wit and is a hilarious look at what we see as “love” in our movies.

Directed by David Wain (who also directed Wet Hot American Summer), it is a fun and exciting commentary, just like Wet Hot American Summer before it. Maybe that’s the magic that Rudd has while working with directors like Wain. They can make us think and say their piece on the genre they’re mocking while also making us fall in love with these characters.

Image Credit: Lionsgate. 

This Is The End

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In a star-studded movie where the majority of the world dies, you wouldn’t think someone like Paul Rudd would stand out and yet he runs into a scene with a giant bottle of champagne and then Rihanna dies and everyone screaming “No Rihanna” and “No Paul!”. Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the movie throws us into the heart of Hollywood at a party where a bunch of celebrities continue to lie to each other about how they feel about one another. It all comes to a head though when the world ends and, in order to ascend to Heaven, they have to do the right thing in some form or another.

It’s hilarious and weird and Paul Rudd is barely in it but it is worth it to watch him flip out about the end of days coming while holding a bottle of champagne that is as big as he is.

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures. 

Clueless

clueless

Look, Clueless is the movie that everyone first fell in love with Paul Rudd during. Clueless is a modern adaptation of the Jane Austen novel Emma and it has Rudd playing Josh, a man who has been in Cher’s (Alicia Silverstone) life who she doesn’t give the time of day. But you know, it is a rom-com so that changes, but it is the charm of Paul Rudd that had so many of us swooning over Josh when we first watched Clueless.

It helps that Paul Rudd could play Josh again right now and he would have barely aged (even though Clueless came out in 1995) but there is something so endearing about him in the movie that just made everyone take note of him. And lucky we did because we all have fallen in love with Paul Rudd time and time again in his movies and have to thank Clueless for giving him to us in the first place.

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Feature Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing. 

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Rachel Leishman is a writer based in New York City.  She specializes in yelling about her favorite properties. A real-life Leslie Knope, she loves her fictional characters and knows probably too much about Harrison Ford's career.