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With the release of his latest movie, This Is 40, Judd Apatow has proven his success as a producer, director, and screenwriter. Apatow developed many cult television series such as the 90s hit, Freaks and Geeks, as well as the HBO series starring Lena Dunham, Girls. He has won numerous awards over the course of his two decade long career, including an AFI Award for his work on Bridesmaids and a Primetime Emmy Award for The Ben Stiller Show. He has also been nominated for everything from Grammy Awards to PGA Awards as well as Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.
Apatow is known for frequently casting such actors as Jason Segel, Seth Rogan (whom Apatow discovered), Paul Rudd, James Franco, Jonah Hill, and Leslie Mann, his wife and mother of their two daughters, Maude and Iris. His movies always feature a dialogue full of sharp, witty humor surrounding a usually absurd situation. We always love watching Apatow's characters struggle either to have sex for the first time or to get alcohol to a party before it's over. If you have a free day, take this list of top 10 Judd Apatow movies and have a marathon!
10. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
While some people may argue that this movie doesn't deserve a spot in the top 10, I think that there are some truly funny (albeit ridiculous) moments that make this movie worth watching. Sacha Baron Cohen's role as the foil to Will Ferrell's white-trash race car driver persona is a hilarious subversive story line. Will Ferrell's performance is humorous, although at some points it does feel like his slapstick comedy is a little heavy-handed. The cast performs brilliantly together, and the back-and-forth dialogue is worth giving this movie a shot.
A comical take on the idea of having a baby out of wedlock, Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogan both give one of the best performances of their careers. Apatow manages to balance the more serious moments of trying to have a child after a one-night-stand with the typical satirical nature of his comedy. This Apatow movie inspired the spin-off, This is 40, starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann.
Apatow acted as a producer of this off-beat comedy in which Annie (Kristen Wiig) feels threatened by Lillian's (Maya Rudolph) new best friend, Helen (Rose Byrne). Although the movie follows the painful unraveling of Annie's life, her messy life is a perfect backdrop for the comedic exchanges between the cast featuring Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson, and Chris O'Dowd.
7. Get Him to the Greek
For those who are fans of Russell Brand, this movie portrays the stereotype of the drug-addled rockstar. Despite Russell Brand's particular brand of ridiculous humor, the movie actually portrays the realistic emotions of what it's like to actually be in the public sphere alone. In addition to the fantastic soundtrack (many of the songs were written by Jason Segel), P. Diddy's performance steals the movie.
6. 40-Year-Old Virgin
While the premise of a 40-year-old electronics store clerk trying to have sex for the first time has the potential to fall into absurd sexual innuendos and bawdy bedroom jokes, Apatow is able to show a sweeter, more endearing side of Andy (Steve Carrell). The supporting cast of Seth Rogan, Paul Rudd, and Romany Malco brilliantly contrast the almost puppy dog-like nature of Steve Carrell's character.
5. Step Brothers
John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell's performance as two aimless middle-aged slackers who still live at home is a ridiculous comedy that is a great movie to watch when you're in the mood for something mindless. Although the initial conflict between the two is funny, the movie grows even more hilarious when Reilly and Ferrell "become best friends!" One of the most memorable scenes is when you think that just Will Ferrell is going on a job interview, but John C. Reilly peeks out from behind him, also sporting a suit.
4. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
This Apatow film has gained an almost cult-like following, though I don't know that it is necessarily his best work. The movie follows the life of the chauvinistic Ron Burgundy who is unwilling to allow a new female employee to join him as a co-anchor to deliver San Francisco's news. The simple absurdity of the dialogue make it a hilarious movie to watch, though at some points, the ridiculousness of the situation overwhelmed the humor. A sequel to the film will soon hit theaters.
3. Pineapple Express
James Franco delivers a surprisingly convincing performance as a burned out drug dealer, off-set by Seth Rogan's process server character. When Dale (Seth Rogan) witnesses a murder, the movie descends into absolute (and hilarious) chaos.
Situational humor abounds in this tale about two high schoolers just trying to get alcohol to a party so they can impress their crushes. Michael Cera's self-conscious personality reminds us each about that embarrassingly awkward four years, while Jonah Hill's misplaced cockiness is a source of endless comedy throughout the movie.
1. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Although some people might disagree, I could watch this movie over and over again. Jason Segel plays a heartbroken music composer who has just gotten dumped by his actress girlfriend (Kristen Bell). Mila Kunis serves to contrast Peter's tightly-wound ex-girlfriend, and Russell Brand's performance is actually not too over the top. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend this movie, especially since it is able to portray a breakup in an authentic, but funny way.
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