Our Favorite Neurotic Schlubs

Seth Rogen is a lovable husband and new father in the raucous comedy Neighbors, but we admit he's a bit of a neurotic schlub. He's so lost in admiration of the fantastically toned Zac Efron, who has moved his rowdy fraternity next door, that he's too timid to do what's necessary to deal with the problem. He comes from a large family of lovable movie schlubs, as you can see. 

 

Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate (1967) 

Now that he's graduated from college, what will Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) do? Frankly, he has no idea, drifting into an inappropriate affair with Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's business partner simply to pass the time. He's finally galvanized into action when he falls in love with Mrs. Robinson's daughter, the elusive Elaine. 

 

Jack Lemmon, The Odd Couple (1968)

Felix Unger (Lemmon) has been tossed out by his wife, leaving him at loose ends until his poker buddy Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) takes him in. Oscar looks more like a schlub, but it's Felix who's nebbish, constrained by his own idiosyncrasies.

 

Woody Allen, Annie Hall (1970)

 

Romantic travails? Yeah, stand-up comic Alvy Singer (Allen) has had a few, but he never came closer to putting aside all his anxieties like he did with Annie (Diane Keaton), an awkward optimist who brought out the best in him. 

 

Albert Brooks, Modern Romance (1981) 

Ah, love! Or, at least, a lasting relationship with another person. That's all Robert Cole (Brooks) really wants, but he keeps tripping himself up on the love roller coaster with his girlfriend, whose patience is quickly wearing out. 

 

Steve Martin, Parenthood (1989)

You'd think that Gil Buckman (Martin) would have it all together by now; after all, he's in his 30s, married with three children, and has a decent job. Yet he constantly worries about everything, most especially about his own qualifications as a parent, which makes him incredibly endearing.

 

John Candy, Uncle Buck (1989) 

Somehow, Uncle Buck has made it very far into adulthood without really accomplishing anything, but the bumbling, shambling relative rises to the occasion when his sister's children need the care of a loving adult.

 

Richard Dreyfuss, What About Bob? (1991)

Who's the successful psychotherapist, and who's the patient? Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss) tries to enjoy his annual summer vacation, only to be tracked down and completely unnerved by the hangdog eyes of his most challenging patient (Bill Murray). 

 

Ben Stiller, Flirting with Disaster (1996) 

His infant son remains nameless because Mel Copland (Stiller) is torn about his identity; he's an adopted child and is obsessed with finding his birth parents, leading to a hilarious, zigzag journey that is populated by delightfully weird characters who almost equal Mel's neurotic behavior.

 

Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski (1998)

Better known as "The Dude" (Bridges), Jeffrey Lebowski may be one of the laziest men in the world, but that doesn't keep him for having some of the strangest, funniest, craziest adventures ever seen on-screen.

 

Jennifer Westfeldt, Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) 

After a long, long series of romantic failures with men, our heroine decides it's time to shake things up, and tries dating a woman for a change. Things go well for awhile, but is Jessica Stein really ready for a fully commited relationship with a woman? 

 

Paul Giamatti, American Splendor (2003)

Grumpy to the extreme, file clerk Harvey Pekar (Giamatti) harbors a secret: he's a gifted writer of a long-running comic book series based entirely on his very ordinary life. 

 

Adam Sandler, Anger Management (2003) 

He's so timid that everyone feels free to walk all over him, so when a misunderstanding lands him under the control of the hilariously intense Jack Nicholson, it's up to him to find the right way to manage his anger.

 

Jack Black, School of Rock (2003)

A whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm, Dewey has always skated by on a tissue of lies, chasing after his dream of stardom. To the surprise of everyone, including himself, he discovers that a little self-discipline goes a long way.

 

Uma Thurman, My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006) 

From all appearances, you might be forgiven for thinking that gorgeous superhero G-Girl has it all together, but the truth is that she's a needy bundle of nerves, insecurity and jealousy. Deep within her, though, she still has a heart of gold. 

 

Seth Rogen, Knocked Up (2007)

If he could ever pull himself together, he would make a very decent partner for someone. The sense of humor and the fun-loving spirit are there, but can he really be expected to accept the responsibility of being a father?

 

Jason Bateman, The Switch (2010) 

He's a good-looking guy, but his perpetually pessimistic perspective puts him at a disadvantage as he pines for the gorgeous Jennifer Aniston, even after a life-changing event should bring them closer together. 

 

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network (2010)

Anyone who walks around outdoors in a bathrobe is admittedly a bit, er, preoccupied, and Mark Zuckerberg was definitely in his own world while he built a billion-person network. Just to look at him, though, would anyone have guessed he would change the world? 

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