Can Seth Rogen Please Do Something Else Now?

Range-expanding suggestions for over-exposed man-child

This Friday, fuzzy-haired funnyman Seth Rogen appears in Kevin Smith’s cum-com Zack And Miri Make A Porno.
He plays a sleazy stoner who looks kind of geeky but is oddly brash and scatalogical and sex-obsessed.
See also: Knocked Up (sleazy stoner who looks kind of geeky but is oddly brash and scatalogical and sexually potent).
See also: The 40-Year-Old Virgin (sleazy stoner who looks kind of geeky but is oddly brash and scatalogical and sexually experienced).
See also: Pineapple Express (sleazy stoner who looks kind of geeky but is oddly brash and scatalogical – now with contact lenses).
Seth is morphing from edgy, progressive take on today’s conflicted twentysomething male into a samey template for emotionally arrested boy-men.
Even the funniest jokes have trajectory: they peak and then quickly nose-dive – particularly if they’re repeated too much. Seth is a funny guy who’s repeating himself. And his ‘things’ are repeating on us…
He wears glasses – so, he’s non-threatening to guys and slightly vulnerable and compromised to girls – particularly girls who fetishise guys with poor eyesight.
He has an incongruously deep voice for a bloke who wears glasses. This was amusing(ish) in Knocked Up. Now, it seems like an affectation to chime with his image. (Evidence: the perfectly normal voice-work as that vulture in Horton Hears A Who.)
He does that face, too much. This one…

And here…

And here…

Fine. We’re sure he’s a cheery kind of fella. But that face says, “H-HEEEY!”. It says, “I AM ZANY! LIKE ME, LIKE ME!” Seth is a very rich and successful man. Surely he doesn’t have to try that hard, any more.
He talks dirty. That’s okay, but for a guy who looks like he’d be more comfortable discussing World Of Warcraft missions online with strangers in Sweden, again, it feels pre-planned.
He smokes dope. Then he says silly, spaced-out things and craves junk-food. This officially stopped being a source of comedy around the time of Cheech & Chong’s Still Smokin’ (1983).
I like Seth Rogen. But it’s time he stopped being the fuzzy-haired, scrubby-bearded, lumberjack shirt-wearing, pot-puffing, sexy-talking (in a deep voice) superspod poster-boy and did something else.
There’s something of the Rick Moranis about him. Back in the ‘80s, Rick’s schtick was the nerdy, anxious type who girls seemed to find irresistible.
See also: Woody Allen.
Like Seth, Rick had an annoying surname and appeared in too many mediocre films. One minute, he was opening movies. The next, he was that stupid pretend-nerdy guy.
So, constructive suggestions for what Seth Rogen could do next in the Comments box below, please. We’ll start…
Close-cropped haircut. Clean shave. New glasses. Smart clothes. Serious Michel Gondry film where he’s not allowed to do that face and he doesn’t talk about cocks.
Then he can get busy working on becoming the new Jim Carrey instead of the old Rick Moranis.


    • thefilmguru

      Nov 13th 2008, 15:49

      Someone who thinks the same as me!! I completely agree, but id expand the 'repeating jokes' niggle to all films since superbad that have had Judd Apatow involved. 40 Year OLd Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad were fine, everything else im sick of the same JUdd jokes and more specifically, Seth stoner jokes. Agreed.

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    • NickyC

      Nov 13th 2008, 15:58

      Let's not be too harsh too soon. It's not like Seth Rogen has been around very long. You mention Jim Carrey, how many crappy 'gurn' movies (which are all unwatchable nowadays, including Batman Forever) did he make in his early career? A lot of stars start out doing projects with similarities between them in order to build a screen persona, which is necessary for them to become stars. Otherwise they are character actors (I'm not making a discrimination there, just a distinction). However, I agree that Rogen is established enough now to move into a second phase. I think his name is well known enough that people will trust him and take a chance when they hand over their box office money. I'm really hoping that The Green Hornet will similar to your description i.e. some weight loss, a straight-laced (non pot smoking) character, shave and a haircut, and hopefully some action. I bet he has a solid, heroic chin under there somewhere. Stephen Chow is so tongue-in-cheek I think he could get Rogen to play it dead pan and then mix that up with some great slapstick. Here's hoping...

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    • alowe

      Nov 14th 2008, 10:37

      @Nicky C: fair dos. I guess Carrey did rack up a big batch of face-pullers before Eternal Sunshine. Agree about the 'heroic chin' bit, too... It'd be interesting to see how he copes with a Will Ferrell-like semi-serious role (like Stranger Than Fiction). And yeah (thefilmguru) - after the limp likes of Pineapple Express and Sarah Marshall, Apatow needs to evolve, too.

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    • Sarah George

      Apr 9th 2009, 19:28

      to alowe, judd apatow only co-produced pineapple express and sarah marshall so you cant blame him for your opinion of them, also your opinion of them is unjustified what difference is there between those 2 films and his other projects?? Judd Apatow is and excellent writer and director of his films like 40 yr old virgin and knocked up, and programmes like the extremely funny undeclared and freaks and geeks. As for the thought that seth rogan needs to do something different. you clearly need to re-examine that opinion, why would you want him to change his comedy style and do a terrible film like eternal sunshine, rogan is hilarious and does not need to change!!

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