This past weekend we enjoyed a family movie night, and my son’s pick was Night at the Museum. I hadn’t seen it since it came out back in 2006 and had forgotten just how many big names were in it alongside Ben Stiller, who starred as the American Museum of Natural History’s night watchman Larry. One surprise was that Paul Rudd played Larry’s ex-wife’s new fiancé, Don. I know it’s cliché to say this at this point, but that movie came out 15 years ago and Rudd looks almost exactly the same now as he did then.
So I think that while we should of course wish him a happy 52nd birthday today, right after the celebration is over we need to demand that Rudd share his anti-aging secrets with us!
Perhaps it’s true that laughter really is the best medicine, and that’s what’s kept Rudd looking so young over the years. Aside from a quick dip in the horror genre back in 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Rudd has stuck almost exclusively to comedies … or dramas with some comedy mixed in. In fact, the same year he starred in Halloween 6, he also was in the movie that would really launch his career — the beloved comedy Clueless, in which he played Alicia Silverstone’s ex-stepbrother and eventual crush Josh.
Another notable role was in 2001’s camp comedy Wet Hot American Summer, where his absolutely obnoxious bad-boy character Andy throws such an epic tantrum that it’s still delivering us the gift of gifs a full 20 years later.
Then in 2004 Rudd starred in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, in which he played the wannabe ladies’ man and local news field reporter Brian Fantana. This was Rudd’s first movie directed by Judd Apatow, whom he would go on to collaborate with several more times, from Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, to The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This is 40 and Anchorman 2.
But in between that string of hits were two of my personal favorite Paul Rudd movies: Role Models (with Seann William Scott) and I Love You, Man (with Jason Segel). Say it with me now: “Slappin’da bass!” If you’re a fan of Paul’s and haven’t seen one of those two comedies, make sure you remedy that ASAP.
And then of course came Rudd’s entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Ant-Man in, um, 2015’s Ant-Man. Since that point his tiny superhero has appeared in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame and of course Ant-Man and the Wasp. Up next and starting to shoot at the end of May is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which MCU fans believe will be released October 7, 2022, though Marvel has only confirmed that it will come out at some point next year.
Before that, however, we should get to see Rudd back in theaters (fingers, toes and eyes crossed, COVID willing!) on November 11 of THIS year in the highly anticipated Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
There are sooooo many more Paul Rudd movies at Redbox besides the ones mentioned above, should you want to honor his birthday with one. There are even two that are part of our free streaming offering: the critically adored Prince Avalanche with Emile Hirsch, and the animated Nerdland, where Paul joins stand-up comedians Patton Oswalt and Hannibal Buress in the voice cast.
If you had to pick your favorite Paul Rudd movie to watch for his birthday today, what would it be?