Everybody likes Paul Rudd.
I know I do.
Even playing the rather dim-witted title character of the film, Paul finds a way to make him likeable. Some lesser actors would have made Ned ridiculous. Or cringe-worthy. Or one note.
Paul Rudd’s Ned is well-meaning and filled with humor and heart and the utmost humility.
(Because he really is an idiot.)
Cast mate Steve Coogan should take a few notes.
Steve plays Ned’s brother-in-law Dylan, a documentary filmmaker who reluctantly gives Ned a job and a place to live after he is released from prison. Nice guy, huh?
Dylan as a total prick — a grouchy, unsympathetic, womanizing louse. There are no shades or layers to the character at all. No glimpses into what has driven him to this point. No chance of any understanding on our part — just the trademark Coogan lip curl.
Even pricks can be likeable, Steve. (Remember The Trip earlier this year?)
In a magazine article promoting the movie, Paul Rudd laughed at the idea of acting as a craft — feels that actors try to make too much of what they do.
Take a like credit, Paul…
Being likeable isn’t as easy as you make it look.