Paul is a buddy comedy featuring the loveable duo of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. The film is out in the United Kingdom at the current moment in time so American viewers have to wait a couple of weeks. The film though has not been as advertised as what it is to me. Going into the movie I had this urge to believe it would be child friendly, at least that’s what the American trailers made it believe to be. The truth is it’s a foul mouthed vulgar R-rated romp for the whole family. The film features Seth Rogen as the voice of the alien Paul. Jason Bateman and Kristen Wigg as well as Bill Hader round out the cast. Does Paul stand out as a nerdy buddy comedy or is it just another failure nerd comedy film in a long list of films.
The film starts off with the two buddies (Pegg and Frost) as they are overseas from the UK going to the nerdiest thing in America…Comic-Con. As they go around the country following the convention they hit all the nerdy stops along the way where they encounter Paul (Rogen). They take him on board and a goose chase ensues with Batman and two other FBI agents chasing after. Wiig’s character slowly falls in love for Pegg as Paul brings them all together. Or what not. I won’t give away the ending for the sake of not spoiling it for anyone.
Let’s see here. Was this movie funny. Yes. It wasn’t as much of a laugh fest as the previous buddy films that Pegg and Frost spearheaded with the help of director Edgar Wright. The film is more like Rogen’s humor. Considering that its from the director of Superbad as well as Adventureland. The film features the generic Rogen scene with pot being inhaled and of course it’s no surprise. Most of the film’s humor comes from the foul mouthed language but the way its delivered is what makes it work, as in Wiig’s naive character delivering lines like “you bet your fat cock i am” adding to the film’s wit.
Casting for the film is not bad. Pegg and Frost give a very believable buddy duo. Of course I can guarentee you Frost and Pegg are buddies since they wored on Spaced back in the late 90’s and several films since. Wiig’s naive Christian girl works but for the lead female love interest she’s not not the greatest there ever is but she does the job, and the way she delivers her lines is witty enough that it works. I am not the hugest Seth Rogen fan but as the vulgar mouthed douchebag alien he gets the job done. Sure Rogen has the comedic timing as usual and is always good. The fact remains the same that Rogen is the star of the show robbing the lead from forty something year old nerds. Jason Bateman is a very underrated actor. Ever since his three seasons on Arrested Development Batmen has had up and down roles. This one he really takes on and makes it a good time instead of half assing his role. Bill Hader is pretty damn funny too, but find me a role in which Hader isn’t funny and I’ll cock slap you.
The writing is alright in this film. It’s meant to be a vulgar R rated buddy comedy for 20-somethings. So that’s okay. There is a message in there, kind of I think. I have no idea I wasn’t watching this movie for the depth in the story anyways. Writing is never really comedies strong suites anyway.
The direction comes from Greg Mottola who has directed a few episodes of Arrested and Undeclared aforementioned movies earlier. He does a solid job directing the film. It seems to be that Mottola has a firm understanding of the genre that he is working with as he develops a very similar style to Superbad with this one. I really think though that the buddy comedy film is pretty solid one. I think that maybe movies like this might bring about the return of the genre, or maybe not.
All in all Paul was a good film, yes I said it. Seth Rogen rarely does bad comedies but Paul is an early comedy that is going to most likely stand out for several months before the sequel year begins in it’s entirety, i.e. The Hangover II. The final bottom line is a nice decent 7.8/10.