The 5 best Paul Rudd films on Netflix
(Credit: Arturo Pardavila III)

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The 5 best Paul Rudd films on Netflix

“Humour is the most important thing in life. It trumps everything else, and it’s the only thing that helps me deal with everything else.”

If you do not know who Paul Rudd is, you are probably living under a rock. Effortlessly funny and incredibly talented, Paul Rudd’s sardonic humour and ever-charming nerdy demeanour have helped him forge a place for himself in Hollywood. Born on April 6, 1969, to British parents of Jewish origin, Rudd has often emphasised how he has always been the pariah in various places in terms of new schools, nationalities as well as religion. “I was always in new schools and had British parents, which was not the norm,” he said. “I’m not particularly religious, but I was born Jewish and I always felt like the outsider because I wasn’t Christian or Catholic.” 

Rudd, who had no exposure to the entertainment industry in his youth, has often confessed how being an actor was never on his agenda. “I was I wasn’t one of those kids who was like, ‘I want to be an actor.’ It wasn’t in my wheelhouse at all,” said he, “I wasn’t from a family that did this or in a place where people did this.” Rudd, after attending acting school, bagged his first role in a TV series named Sisters. His debut film Clueless garnered him quite the female attention due to his good looks and refreshing on-screen presence.

Rudd went on to star in various films, all of which became a pleasurable viewing experience due to his incredible acting skills. He could effortlessly blend into his character’s skin and play his part with confidence and skill. Millennials know Rudd by his superhero alias Ant-Man while Gen-Y will probably recognise him as the adorable Mike Hannigan in the hit TV show Friends who served as a perfect foil to the eccentric Phoebe Buffay. Rudd has been a regular on various films and TV shows, besides theatre. 

On his 52nd birthday, we scoured through Netflix to find some of his best films on the platform. Although Netflix does not have streaming rights to all of Paul Rudd’s films, here are the five best films starring Paul Rudd available on Netflix. 

Let’s get streaming!

The 5 best Paul Rudd films on Netflix: 

The Fundamentals of Caring (Rob Burnett, 2016)

Writer Ben Benjamin is on the run from his wide’s divorce papers when he registers as a caregiver and is hired by a bank manager from England to take care of an 18-year-old boy named Trevor who has muscular dystrophy. As he forms a beautiful bond with Trevor, Ben takes him on a road trip to see the deepest pit in the world; Trevor also wants to meet and confront his father for abandoning him. On this journey, joined by a hitchhiker named Dot as well as a pregnant woman named Peaches, they are forced to face some bitter truths about themselves while getting a new perspective towards life. 

Although the film was not very well-received by critics, Burnett’s indie adaptation of Jonathan Evison’s novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving showed Rudd at his finest. Joined by Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez and Jennifer Ehle, Rudd plays Ben who embarks on this epic journey towards self-introspection and redemption. The birth of Peaches’ child not only signifies Rudd’s character forgiving himself for past mistakes but also indicates the rebirth of his creative sensibility as he begins writing a book about his adventures with Trevor in the end.   

“Every corny thing you’ve heard about having a kid is completely and utterly true… It’s the only reason we’re here.”

Mute (Duncan Jones, 2018) 

Set in the futuristic Berlin of 2035, the film revolves around a mute bartender named Leo who dates a cocktail waitress named Naadirah. Unbeknownst to him, Naadirah also works as a prostitute to support herself financially. One night, however, she goes missing, and Leo embarks on a tumultuous quest to find her. This leads him deeper into the dangerous criminal underworld of Berlin where he is forced to confront bitter truths about Naadirah who has a daughter named Josie with a menacing American surgeon of a black market clinic named Cactus Bill; all Bill wants is to leave Berlin with his daughter and will go to any extent to receive forged documents to do so. 

A film with incredible visuals suffered due to its convoluted and muddled plotline. The inconsistency in the narrative made it confusing, unfathomable and somewhat boring. However, Paul Rudd as the vicious Cactus Bill with a gigantic moustache is stunning on-screen. As a protective father and a notorious criminal, Rudd’s ability to bring depth to a two-dimensional character is absolutely commendable. If only they made the entire film about him, it would seem less obnoxious and unpleasant. 

“He doesn’t need words. He’s kind.”

The Little Prince (Mark Osborne, 2015)

Weaving a beautiful story using our favourite childhood story as the crux, the film revolves around a little girl who befriends an aged aviator. While she tries to desperately maintain a balance between the innocence of childhood and the pressure of maturing into an adult, the aviator’s magical story about the Little Prince becomes her sole escape route. However, when the aviator falls sick, she must seek out the adult Mr Prince who, unfortunately, cannot recollect his incredible childhood. 

With stunning animation, this adorable and sensitive film upholds the spirit of childhood as well as profoundly reflects humanity. Paul Rudd plays the adult version of Little Prince who has no recollection of the magical childhood he had. He is a puppet at the hands of the businessman, an incompetent janitor, who slowly grapples with his past. A moving film, Rudd is at his finest along with the young Mackenzie Foy, and does not need to be present physically to make his charm as the disillusioned adult Little Prince palpable.   

“The men where you live grow thousands of Roses.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed, 2018)

After Scott Lang violated the Sokovia Accords and got involved with the Avengers, he is under house arrest, regretting his indecisiveness as a parent and as a superhero (Ant-Man). He must take up his superhero duties once again to assist Hope van Dyne and Hank Pum and fight alongside the Wasp against a new and vicious enemy, while trying to rescue hank’s wife from the quantum tunnel the father-daughter duo had accidentally opened.  

Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Rudd’s Lang is, according to Peyton Reed, “A bigger fugitive” than he was in Ant-Man. Unfortunately for us, the first part of the film is not streaming on Netflix. As we all know, Rudd pushed for Scott Lang to be nothing extraordinary and made him more human with the disillusionment and flaws; this added extra charm to the character which made the audience connect more with the superhero. 

“Do you guys just put the word ‘quantum’ in front of everything?”  

Wanderlust (David Wain, 2012) 

George and Linda are a New York couple whose dreams are compromised by the crashing economy. George’s promotion turns into his company closing down while Linda fails to sell a documentary to HBO. While moving to Atlanta, they come in close contact with a hippie commune where life is seemingly perfect and it serves as their escape from the drudgery of the real world. However, things soon start taking an ugly turn as the outlandish and bizarre activities of the commune, including the propagation of ‘free love’ causes the couple to drift apart and face uncomfortable truths about their relationship. 

The film portrayed the predicament of the urban couples trying to realise their American dream. When all seems lost, Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd’s characters find solace in a commune that slowly makes them stumble upon the pleasures of life as well as the consequences that tag along. Although the punchlines could have been funnier, the extremely talented cast makes this film a fun watch. Rudd and Aniston, in particular, are incredibly adorable in their respective roles as the dysfunctional Gergenblatts, who are still very much in love. 

 “I know New York is a great city, but I do not miss that lifestyle at all. I mean it was just stress, and Blackberries, and sleeping pills. I used to drink a triple latte every morning just to wake up.”