Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Similar Standards: Seth Rogen

Welcome to a new semi-regular weekly feature here at Movies with Abe. On those weeks where reviews are sparse, I’ll be taking a look at an actor or actress whose body of work boasts many roles that may not be as diverse as those taken on by other actors or actresses. This is hardly a judgment on their abilities; rather an analysis of the kind of parts they play so well.

Seth Rogen

This comedian can usually be found making a fool of himself in foul-mouthed parts as a jokester in some kind of uninteresting dead-end job. He’s most often likeable, though sometimes his obnoxiousness gets in the way of his more charming personality traits. If he’s not too boisterous, he fits in just fine in the background as comic relief.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005): He was loud and rather unattractive with a poorly chosen hairstyle as one of virgin Steve Carell’s buddies.

Knocked Up (2007): He got the lead role as the nervous but endearing Ben, accidental impregnator of reporter Alison.

Superbad (2007): Too old to play the part of the mouthy young lawbreaker, Rogen instead portrayed the idiotic wise-cracking cop.

Pineapple Express (2008): Process server Dale, no stranger to wild schemes and charades, was just as ridiculous when running after witnessing a murder.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008): Desperately broke Zack made plenty of jokes and goofed off in the process of filming an adult film with his female roommate.

Observe and Report (2009): Rogen was a full-on jerk as the brainless, violent-prone drone Ronnie, who was a security guard at a mall.

The Green Hornet (2011): Being in a superhero flick didn’t change Rogen’s default character at all, here seen being silly and irresponsible as the heir to a major media empire.

50/50 (2011): When he found out that his best friend had cancer, Kyle dealt with it as any Rogen character would: support through humor.

Anything different?

Funny People (2009): In this film, Rogen was training to be like Adam Sandler’s seasoned comedian, but neither of them was showboating or playing the fool in this more serious fare.

What’s next?

A part in the drama “Take This Waltz,” out this June, and a role in a comedy about phone sex, “For a Good Time, Call…”

The verdict?

He’s usually great entertainment, and putting him in a lead part has mixed results – excellent in “Knocked Up” and lamentable in “Observe and Report.” Most often, if Rogen’s having a good time, audiences are too, and the more depraved his character is, the more amusing.


HenriqueBean said...

Nice! I love Seth Rogen.

In the series Freaks and Geeks, where he was very young, he was way serious, introspective, and harassive, with little touch of comedy (often when making fun of others).

At the Undeclared series, while still young, he was a lot closer to his current role.

Movies with Abe said...

Very true! I liked him much better in Undeclared since he was actually used for comedic effect, though Freaks and Geeks was clearly the greater show.