Dinner for Schmucks

  • Directors: Jay Roach
  • Producers: Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Jay Roach
  • Writers: David Guion, Michael Handelman, Source material, Francis Veber
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Jemaine Clement, Jeff Dunham, Bruce Greenwood, Ron Livingston

Tim (Rudd) is a rising executive who “succeeds” in finding the perfect guest, IRS employee Barry (Carell), for his boss’s monthly event, a so-called “dinner for idiots,” which offers certain advantages to the exec who shows up with the biggest buffoon.

Clueless

  • Directors: Amy Heckerling
  • Producers: Scott Rudin, Robert Lawrence, Twink Caplan
  • Writers: Amy Heckerling
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer

Clueless is a modernized version of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma. The film tells the story of Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), a good-natured but superficial girl (based on Emma Woodhouse, the title character of the novel).

Cher is attractive, popular, and extremely rich. At a few months shy of sixteen, she has risen to the top of the high school social scene and is happy and self-assured in her insular, fashion-obsessed world. She lives in a Beverly Hills mansion with her father (Dan Hedaya), a ferocious $500-an-hour litigator; her mother is long dead, having succumbed to complications while undergoing liposuction. Cher’s best friend is Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash), who is also rich, pretty, and hip, and understands what it’s like to be envied.

Among the few people to find much fault with Cher is Josh (Paul Rudd), her socially conscious ex-stepbrother who visits during a break from college. Josh and Cher spar continually but without malice; she refers to him as “granola breath” and mocks his scruffy idealism, while he teases her for being selfish, vain, and superficial, and says that her only direction in life is “toward the mall”.

Illustrating that Cher’s selfishness is usually innocent and relatively harmless, Cher plays matchmaker for two lonely, nerdy, hard-grading teachers, Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn) and Miss Geist (Twink Caplan). She achieves her original purpose – to make them relax their grading standards so she can renegotiate a bad report card – but when she sees their newfound happiness, she realizes she likes doing good deeds. Cher now decides that the ultimate way she can give back to the community would be to “adopt” a “tragically unhip” new girl at school, Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy). Cher and Dionne give Tai a makeover and initiate her into the mysteries of popularity. Cher also tries to extinguish the strong mutual attraction between Tai and Travis (Breckin Meyer), an amiable skateboarding slacker, and to steer her toward Elton (Jeremy Sisto), a rich snob.

The film has a happy Hollywood ending for Cher: Mr. Hall and Miss Geist get married; her friendships with Tai and Dionne are reaffirmed; Tai and Travis are in love; and, in Josh’s arms, she too has now finally found love.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

  • Directors: Nicholas Stoller
  • Producers: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson, Rodney Rothman
  • Writers: Jason Segel
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Paul Rudd, Liz Cackowski, Jonah Hill

Composer Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) has spent five years adoring his girlfriend, television star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), despite living completely in her shadow. He even works as the composer for Sarah’s CSI-type crime drama, co-starring William Baldwin (as himself), Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime, a job that dramatically underutilizes his talents. One day, Sarah comes to Peter’s place after he’s had a shower to tell him she’s breaking up with him and there’s someone else. Peter tries to talk her out of it and goes as far as to refuse to put his clothes on, but it doesn’t work. Devastated, Peter impulsively starts having sex with random strangers, but he is still unable to overcome his grief. Upon advice from his stepbrother (Bill Hader), he decides to take a trip to Hawaii and stay at a resort Sarah once mentioned; when he goes there, he is confronted by Sarah and her new boyfriend, the articulate and narcissistic (though newly “straight edge” after a stint in rehab) British rocker, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). The sympathetic receptionist, Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) bears witness to the awkward meeting and gives him an expensive suite on the condition that he cleans up after himself.

During the credits, a preview is shown for Sarah Marshall’s new show with Jason Bateman — a detective crime drama similar to her last one, called Animal Instincts, wherein she plays a detective who is also an animal psychic.

Role Models

  • Directors: David Wain
  • Producers: Luke Greenfield, Mary Parent
  • Writers: David Wain, Timothy Dowling, Paul Rudd, Ken Marino
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz Plasse, Bobb e J Thompson, Jane Lynch

Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) are two salesmen in the greater Los Angeles area for an energy drink, Minotaur. They promote it as a way to keep kids off drugs. Wheeler loves the job. Danny on the other hand, hates the job and possesses a constant negative attitude toward life, which results in the collapse of his relationship with his girlfriend, attorney Beth (Elizabeth Banks). One day after making one of their presentations at a high school, the duo find that their company truck is being towed for parking in a “No Parking” zone. They protest by trying to drive it away from the tow-truck, but they end up driving it up a statue in front of the school.

They are arrested and the judge sentences the two to a 30 day jail sentence. Beth, however, manages to strike a deal with the judge in which they have to log 150 hours of community service over the next thirty days at the judge’s favorite charity, a big-brother style program called Sturdy Wings, led by Gayle Sweeny (Jane Lynch). Gayle, who takes an instant dislike to Danny and Wheeler, is aware that their presence at Sturdy Wings is court-ordered and warns them that if they fail to carry out their tasks to her satisfaction, she will have them sent to prison. Wheeler is paired up with Ronnie Shields (Bobb’e J. Thompson), a foulmouthed, streetwise miscreant obsessed with breasts who has driven away all the other “Bigs” he has been paired with, while Danny is paired up with Augie Farks (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a nerdy teenager obsessed with live action role-playing games.

In the after-battle party, Augie finally hits it off with Esplen, who asks him to become her King, which he accepts, and the two kiss. Gayle, impressed with the pair’s efforts, tells them that due to a long standing relationship with the judge, she will be able to get their names cleared. The movie ends with Danny serenading Beth in front of everyone with an off-key and improvised version of the KISS song “Beth” (a reference to him saying “getting up in front of a large group of people and singing isn’t my idea of fun” at the beginning of the movie) and the two reconcile.

The 40 Year Old Virgin

  • Directors: Judd Apatow
  • Producers: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson, Seth Rogen, Clayton Townsend, Steve Carell
  • Writers: Judd Apatow, Steve Carell
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Jane Lynch, Elizabeth Banks

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is the eponymous 40-year-old virgin. A very well-meaning, highly neurotic, somewhat stereotypical nerd, Andy lives alone, collects action figures, enjoys video games, framed a poster of eighties rock band Asia, and his social life seems to consist of watching Survivor with his elderly neighbors.

Andy works in the stockroom at an electronics store called SmartTech. His co-workers include the affable David (Paul Rudd), who is tormented by memories of his old girlfriend Amy (Mindy Kaling); the burly Cal (Seth Rogen), a novelist and stoner; and Jay (Romany Malco), a self-styled ladies’ man. When a friend drops out of a poker game, they reluctantly invite the withdrawn Andy to join them. Andy turns out to be surprisingly good at poker due to his free-time of playing the game online, but when the conversations turn to past sexual exploits, they quickly realize Andy is still a virgin, and resolve to help him lose his virginity.

Andy is at first reluctant to go along with them, but after a heartfelt talk with David, he agrees to give it a try. The gang’s efforts prove to be unsuccessful. They take Andy to a bar, where Jay advises him to hit on drunk women, but this backfires when the girl Andy leaves with drives the two of them home drunk, wrecks the car, and vomits on him. Jay recommends that Andy get his chest waxed, but Andy finds it so painful that he leaves halfway through. (Steve Carell actually had his chest hair removed during the scene, and stated in an interview on Australia’s Rove Live that the scene was unnecessarily painful because the waxers forgot to oil his nipples.[3]) David gives Andy his “big box of porn” to help him “loosen up” sexually, but to no avail. They later go to a speed dating lunch, with no success, and at which David encounters ex-girlfriend Amy, sending him into a downward spiral of depression. Later, Cal advises Andy to be questioning when talking to women, (which makes Andy seem mysterious) and results in Beth (Elizabeth Banks), a bookstore clerk, taking a liking to Andy. Andy starts to open up, and as true friendships begin to form with his co-workers, Andy impresses his boss, Paula (Jane Lynch), with his salesmanship and she promotes him to floor manager.

They end up getting married with everyone in attendance, with a sidelong mention of Andy’s action figures having sold for approximately half a million dollars, and finally consummate their relationship on their wedding night. Andy finally loses his virginity with Trish in their hotel room. The film ends with an over-the-top musical scene in which the cast of the film sing and dance to the song “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.”

Knocked Up

  • Directors: Judd Apatow
  • Producers: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
  • Writers: Judd Apatow
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann

Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is a lazy, dimwitted and immature 23-year-old Jewish Canadian and claimed illegal immigrant from Vancouver, living off funds received in compensation for an injury and sporadically working on a Mr. Skin-like website with his roommates in between smoking marijuana or goofing off with them. Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is a career-minded woman who has just been given an on-air role with E! Entertainment Television, and is living with her sister Debbie’s (Leslie Mann) family. While celebrating her promotion, Alison meets Ben at a local night club. After a night of drinking, they end up having sex. Due to a misunderstanding, they do not use protection: Alison uses the phrase “just do it” to encourage Ben to put the condom on faster, which he misinterprets as “forget the condom”. The following morning, they quickly learn over breakfast that they have little in common and go their separate ways which leaves Ben visibly defeated when she walks away.

Eight weeks later, Alison experiences morning sickness at work, and, several home pregnancy tests later, discovers she is pregnant. She contacts Ben for the first time since their one-night stand to tell him the news. Although taken aback, Ben says he will be there to support Alison having the baby. While he is still unsure about being a parent, his father (Harold Ramis) tells him that he was the best thing that ever happened to him. Alison’s mother (Joanna Kerns) tries to convince her daughter to have an abortion, but Alison decides to keep the child. Later, Alison and Ben decide to give their relationship a chance. The odd couple’s efforts include Ben making an awkward marriage proposal with a ring box without a ring, promising to get her one someday. Alison thinks it is too early to think about marriage, because she is more concerned with hiding the pregnancy from her boss, who asked her when she first got the on-air job to be “firm” and “tight” for the cameras.

During labor, Alison apologizes for doubting Ben’s commitment and admits that she never thought the man who got her pregnant would be the right one for her. A while later, Debbie and Pete arrive, but Ben, still angry over Debbie’s influence on Alison, makes them wait outside, as he wishes to take care of Alison. When Debbie protests, Ben threatens to have her arrested if she does not comply, which finally convinces Debbie that Ben is the right guy for Alison. The couple welcomes the birth of a baby girl (a boy in the alternate ending) and settle down happily together.

I Love You Man

  • Directors: John Hamburg
  • Producers: John Hamburg, Ivan Reitman, Donald De Line, Tom Pollock, Jeff Clifford, Bill Johnson
  • Writers: Story by Larry Levin Written by John Hamburg and Larry Levin
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, J K Simmons, Jane Curtin, Jaime Pressly, Andy Samberg

Peter Klaven just got engaged to Zooey Rice. She’s ecstatic and calls her closest friends, but Peter does not seem to have anyone special he’d like to share the good news with. At Peter’s parents’ house, it comes out that Peter is actually a “girlfriend guy” and his guy friends when he was growing up “fell by the wayside.” After overhearing Zooey’s friends tell her that they are concerned Peter does not have any friends, he realizes he needs to find some male friends in order to have a best man for his wedding. Peter seeks the advice of his younger, gay brother Robbie on how to meet platonic guy friends and how to take them on a man-date.

Peter’s first attempt is to hang out with Barry, Denise’s husband, for poker night with the guys. It ends horribly when, after chugging too many beers, Peter projectile vomits all over Barry. Robbie tries to help Peter by sending him out with a guy from his gym for a soccer game. That does not last long, since the man angers fans at the game and has a very high-pitched voice. Peter’s mother tries next by sending him to dinner with a guy that just moved to L.A. Against Robbie’s advice, Peter goes to dinner with Doug, and it ends awkwardly with a deep tongue kiss. Peter tries for himself online and finds Mel, who represented himself as a young guy on his online profile, but is actually an old man.

While Peter feels bad about confronting Sydney now that the Ferrigno house is sold, he doesn’t re-invite Sydney to the wedding. Before the wedding, Zooey sees Peter upset about the loss of Sydney, so she calls and invites Sydney (who is already on his way) to the wedding. Just before the vows are to be taken, Sydney makes a dramatic entrance, they explain their platonic love for each other, and Sydney assumes the role of best man.