Total Recall: Seth Rogen's Best Movies
We take a look at the Observe and Report star's most critically-acclaimed work.
Five years ago, all Seth Rogen really had going for him were roles in a pair of quickly canceled television shows and bit parts in Donnie Darko and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy -- but in Hollywood, fortunes can change quickly, and this Friday, Rogen will return to theaters with his fourth live-action leading role in the last two years, as mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt in Jody Hill's Observe and Report. At the tender age of 26, Rogen has already put together such an impressive résumé that we thought now would be the perfect time to devote an installment of Total Recall to his best-reviewed movies.
Rogen rose to fame as a member of Judd Apatow's troupe -- he received his first big break as a member of the Freaks and Geeks cast, and Apatow elevated him to leading man status with 2007's Knocked Up -- and although it's true that many of Rogen's roles have been in Apatow comedies (or movies that just seem like Apatow comedies), he's done more than you might think, including voicework for some popular animated fare, production work on many of his films, and writing for projects as varied as Da Ali G Show and Drillbit Taylor. Okay, maybe that last one wasn't a very good example of his talents, but still, you have to admit -- for a guy who wasn't even on most people's radar in the not-too-distant past, Seth Rogen has come an awfully long way. Join us in taking a look at the highlights of a brief-yet-busy career -- and then visit Rogen's complete filmography to learn more!
Even the most impressive filmography has a stinker or two lurking in the weeds, and Seth Rogen's is no different. Fortunately for him, his lowest-rated movie, 2006's You, Me and Dupree, didn't feature much Rogen -- it was a starring vehicle for Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, and Matt Dillon, and Rogen only turned up in a supporting role as Neil, a mutual friend of the uptight Carl (Dillon) and lovably irresponsible Dupree (Wilson). In theory, the story of an innocent man-child slowly driving an uptight acquaintance insane is rife with humorous possibilities -- see What About Bob? -- but critics found few laughs in Dupree; although the film was a moderate hit, the reviews were almost uniformly awful. Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe summed up the overall feeling of most writers when he claimed that watching it "made me feel like Lou Dobbs. I didn't like Dupree. I wanted him deported."
Rogen took a furlough from Camp Apatow for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, taking advantage of the opportunity to work for Kevin Smith, the director who redefined mainstream raunch with films such as Mallrats -- and who demonstrated, with movies like Chasing Amy, that a successful script can be filthy and sweetly sentimental. Smith tried to walk that line with Zack and Miri, which starred Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as a pair of longtime friends who turn to porn as a way of paying their bills; unfortunately, it wasn't an Amy-sized success, providing only limited critical and commercial returns despite a hot cast and potential-filled premise. Still, Zack and Miri ended up on the right side of 60 percent on the Tomatometer, thanks to reviews from critics like Creative Loafing's Matt Brunson, who deemed it "Always likable even if it isn't always inspired."