2009: The Year of the Rudd?

With the box office success of Role Models and an excellent appearance hosting Saturday Night Live under his belt, the last few months of 2008 have been quite successful for Paul Rudd. And from the looks of things, 2009 should be even bigger. The "serious one" from the Apatow clan (after all, he has worked with Neil LaBute before) has three films coming in the New Year, including I Love You, Man, which hits theaters in March. The trailer popped up online this week and while it points to more of the same manboy hijinks that we’ve come to expect from recent comedies, we think it looks inescapably funny. Though, admittedly, that feeling might have more to do with Mr. Rudd’s co-star Jason Segal and The Pixies "Here Comes Your Man" music cue that plasters the last third of the trailer.

March also brings the premiere of the latest show from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas, Party Hard, a new comedy for Starz that Mr. Rudd is a producer on. The sitcom, which centers on the lives of six caterers trying to live their life in Los Angeles, was picked up a few months back and we’re happy to report the recently announced cast looks pretty awesome. Along for the ride are Ken Marino (The State), Adam Scott (Tell Me You Love Me), Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks), Jane Lynch (Role Models) and Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls). While no one in the cast is a breakout star (well, with the exception of Ms. Caplan who got internet famous this fall by taking her top off multiple times on True Blood) they are all reliably funny performers. We’re specifically excited to see Ms. Lynch get regular series work. Her foul-mouthed performances have become our favorite part of many a film in recent years. In another world, where comedy wasn’t looked down upon, she’d get a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Role Models.

Since even America’s sweethearts Michael Cera and Tina Fey have experienced "the backlash", we’d like to brace ourselves for similar situation here with Mr. Rudd. But perhaps he’ll be immune, since he forever seems like a supporting player despite his matinee idol good looks. As long as he keeps finding interesting projects to work on, we think the haters will be kept at bay. Well, at least for a little while longer… 2009: The Year of the Rudd?