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The Seth Rogen Factor: Is He Overexposed? Overrated? Or Just What Comedy Needs?

POSTED:

Give me some Seth Rogen. That was the weekend message from the box office as Rogen's R-rated comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno opened to an estimated $10.7 million. Good for the No. 2 spot. I'm not talking about what was No. 1 since it involves a candy-colored musical that had me puking pastels. I'm assuming eight-year-olds put the muscle into that one. My kind of twisted youth came out in support of Rogen's comedy, even though some TV ads reduced the title to Zack and Miri believing the very word "porno" would corrupt the souls of innocents. Sheesh. What kind of world are we living in? Written and directed by Kevin Smith, Make a Porno (as I now like to call the movie) is far more romantic than raunchy thanks to the sweet chemistry between Rogen and costar Elizabeth Banks. But the big topic on the blog table today is Rogen. Consider this:

Rogen's last two comedies opened bigger than Make a Porno, they would be Pineapple Express ($23.2 million) and Knocked Up ($30.7 million). Does that mean his popularity is waning? Naysayers think we're making too much of a fuss about a 26-year-old Canadian actor, writer, producer and comic who's ridden his chubby appeal way past it's sellby date. (Actually, Rogen has slimmed down considerably to play the title role in his next fim, The Green Hornet).

So if you don't think Rogen is overexposed and/or overrated, let's share some thoughts about what's good about him. From his TV work on Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, I've always been in his corner. The only thing I can't forgive him for is co-writing the script for the laugh-free Drillbit Taylor. His script for Superbad gets my highest marks, as does his acting in Knocked Up (James Franco kind of stole the Pineapple). But my favorite Rogen moment on film goes to his "know how I know you're gay" comic fight to the death with Paul Rudd in The 40-Year-old Virgin.

Now it's your turn to vent. Give the moments the show the best and worst of Rogen onscreen. Game on.

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Peter Travers

Rolling Stone senior writer Peter Travers has reviewed movies for the magazine for more than 20 years. Send your comments and questions to him here.

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