Rudd starred as the always cheerful, too-honest, pot-growing brother to three women (Emily Mortimer, Zooey Deschanel and Elizabeth Banks), whose homes he takes turns living in after a misunderstanding lands him in jail. It was an uneven movie saved by Rudd's winning performance.
After 40-Year-Old Virgin, Rudd re-teamed with funnyman Steve Carell for Dinner for Schmucks – based on a French farce about a dinner party to make fun of the idiot guests invited. Tim (Rudd) is a rising exec who invites Barry (Carell), a tax inspector who creates mice dioramas as a hobby, to the dinner to impress his bosses. Problem is, Barry is doing way more harm than good to Tim's personal life, whether it's bringing on the back pain or causing a break-up between him and his girlfriend.
In this bromance, Rudd plays a nebbishy real estate agent who realizes on the eve of his wedding that he has no guy friends to be his man of honor. What to do? Audition for the role of course—and he ends up having unlikely chemistry (both in the plot and on the screen) with Jason Segal's carefree Sydney.
Here Rudd stars as an embittered energy drink promoter who's dishing out snark to everyone, including the barista. After a mishap with his partner (Sean William Scott) that lands them both community service time in a big brother program, Paul is paired with a role-playing geek while Sean gets stuck with a foul-mouthed kid. The results are as laugh inducing as they are heartwarming.
Although he had a bit part in Forgetting Sarah Marshall as a down-to-earth surf instructor, Rudd steals just about every scene he's in. Teaching Jason Segel to surf is sort of an overstatement in the clip below, and the sage surfer advice he dispenses to the heartbroken guy make for hilarious quips of wisdom.
In this movie that launched the return of the R-rated comedy, Rudd plays Katherine Heigl's brother-in-law who partakes in a fantasy baseball draft after hours in order to avoid his wife. Complaining that marriage isn't all roses, Rudd delivers one of his best lines in the film when he compares real life marriage to a hit TV series. "Marriage is like an unfunny, tense version of Everybody Loves Raymond but it doesn't last 22 minutes, it lasts forever." Ouch.
Steve Carell won over audiences in The 40-Year-Old Virgin but it was Paul Rudd's whip-smart "You know how I know you're gay?" back-and-forth exchange with Seth Rogen that stole the spotlight. Rudd would go on to make several more movies with Judd Apatow.
The place – Camp Firewood. The year – 1981. It's the last day of summer camp before everyone returns to the real world and there's unfinished business to attend to. Rudd stars as Kate's cute, rebellious, obnoxious and unfaithful boyfriend in this film that has achieved a cult following.
Before Garry Marshall gathered together a bunch of actors for New Year's Eve, there was 200 Cigarettes, in which Rudd's character Kevin and Courtney Love's Lucy are struggling with the sexual tension between one another. Rudd feeds off of Love's character and vice-versa in their scenes with hilarious results.
Alicia Silverstone as Cher was the star of this clever comedy that launched Rudd's career, but he was a true find as the good-natured stepbrother who serves as an affable foil to Cher's spoiled-teen ways—and ends up winning her heart.