At its core, Paul is a road trip comedy: two English guys crossing the American south-west, who pick up a few friends along the way, and have a humorous adventure.
The key to their adventure however, its that one of the new friends is Paul, an alien who escaped from the nearby government facility.
Seth Rogan as Paul is hilarious, as he successfully captures the charm and wit of the character.
It’s clear that a lot of effort went into the creation of the character, and the unique feel of Rogan’s ‘I’m insulting you, but it’s funny anyway’ style really come through in Paul, in a way that no other actor today could really have delivered it.
Paul feels real, and it’s not difficult at all to suspend disbelief as the character interacts with his environment and the other actors. It really feels seamless, and it’s a lot of fun to watch.
I didn’t give it a chance when it was at the theaters because it looked too campy and goofy for my taste, but it’s really an excellently crafted, touching film.
I was surprised by the depth of characterizations, and the well-tempered humor throughout the piece. It’s not just a bunch of rude jokes for the sake of rude jokes, it all feels very natural.
The DVD included the ‘unrated’ version of the film, which was, honestly, not all that scandalous. If they’d submitted this version to the ratings board, it would likely have also come up with an R, just like the theatrical version.
It’s actually more apt to call it an ‘extended’ version, as it includes a few scenes and bits of scenes which were cut from the final film for time (as opposed to being replaced with a less ‘dirty’ cut for ratings purposes, the reversal of which is the appeal of some ‘unrated’ film versions).
The DVD also includes a fun blooper reel, one of my personal joys, as I always like seeing the actors being real with one another on set, and getting glimpses into the friendships that developed during the energy of the filming. There is also a really interesting behind the scenes piece, which shows clips of interviews with the artists and director of the film in regards to the development and production of the Paul character.
It’s fascinating to see the stages involved in the process of pulling something like this together. It even shows some scenes of Seth Rogan in his mo-cap suit having been roughly inserted into a few scenes.
Paul is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD. If you enjoyed the film at the theater, the disc will give you some new laughs, and if you, like me, didn’t give the film a shot the first time, now is your chance to take a look at it.