EW Makes a (Seth Rogen) List
Dating back to his break out in 2007’s Knocked Up, Seth Rogen has been a part of some classic comedies and comedy pairings. Ranging from James Franco to Katherine Heigl, Rogen has found movie magic with a lot of fellow stars. And with the actor-filmmaker doing the same with Charlize Theron in Long Shot, EW ranked Rogen’s duos — and one trio (sorry, This Is the End).
15. Seth Rogen and Jay Chou in The Green Hornet (2011)
We will let Rogen handle his critically and commercially disappointing superhero film: “It was a f—ing nightmare.”
14. Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in The Guilt Trip (2012)
Despite her Razzie nomination, Streisand does her best as Rogen’s clingy mom, who happens to talk a lot about her son’s penis (and calls him her “little Donald Trump,” which hasn’t aged well). Unfortunately, there just wasn’t much chemistry — or laughs — to be had here.
13. Seth Rogen and Anna Faris in Observe and Report (2009)
While Rogen and Faris were more than game, this black comedy missed its mark, and rightfully earned criticism for a sex scene between the stars where Faris’ character was barely conscious.
12. Seth Rogen and Michael Peña in Observe and Report (2009)
This should have ranked much higher, with Peña finally getting to show off his comedy chops, and in turn, stealing the movie as Ronnie’s (Rogen) righthand man Dennis. But in the end, Peña is just way too underutilized for the duo to sneak into the top half of the rankings.
11. Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron in Long Shot (2019)
Charlize Theron is so good that she can make any relationship seem convincing…to a point.
10. Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie in The Night Before (2015)
All of three of these likable actors get some hilarious bits in this underrated Christmas comedy, but their funniest moments are often separate from each other (Rogen with James Franco, all of them with Michael Shannon). And maybe even the bigger issue is that I’m not sure I buy these three as BFFs.
9. Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler in Funny People (2009)
There are a lot of funny people in Judd Apatow’s (very long) 2009 film, which features two of Hollywood’s most bankable and reliable comedy stars in Rogen and Sandler. Finally working again with juicy material, Sandler shines as a lonely comic legend facing death, but he and Rogen’s pairing never quite lives up to the expectations.
8. Seth Rogen and James Franco in The Interview (2014)
Franco and Rogen have become synoymous with each other, with maybe even some meta commentary making it in here when Dave (Franco) calls Aaron (Rogen), the Sam to his Frodo, the Gandalf to his Bilbo, and the precious to his Gollum. And as strong as they always are together, the controversial film builds a fun relationship before mostly separating the duo in the film’s wild back half.
7. Seth Rogen and Zac Efron in Neighbors (2014) and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)
Neighbors proved that Zac Efron can be funny (on purpose, so Charlie St. Cloud doesn’t count), and Neighbors 2 proved that Efron and Rogen are funnier as friends than rivals.
6. Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50 (2011)
Now this is a JGL and Rogen friendship that I buy! And while there are some good comedic moments, their relationship shines in the emotional ones, such as Kyle’s (Rogen) reaction to Adam’s (Gordon-Levitt) cancer diagnosis and Adam shaving his head.
5. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up (2007)
Rogen and Heigl’s offscreen relationship may now be strained because of her criticism of Knocked Up, but the actors worked great together onscreen, finding impressive — if not super beliveable — chemistry, whether through their perfectly awkward sex or their very real argument.
4. Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)
I have to believe that this is the big surprise of the list, considering I was surprised by how high it landed. But, upon rewatch, Rogen and Elizabeth Banks were extremely charming and compatible as friends, lovers, and porn costars.
3. Seth Rogen and James Franco in Pineapple Express (2008)
There’s something about Rogen that helps bring out the comedy chops of actors who haven’t previously gotten the opportunity (see Peña and Theron), and he does it here with James Franco. Pineapple Express marked the first film collaboration between the Freaks and Geeks costars and Franco’s first comedy starring role, and the result was laughs all around and a Golden Globe nomination for Franco. They were so good that it’s a shame the closest we will get to Pineapple Express 2 is the joke trailer in This Is the End.
2. Seth Rogen and Bill Hader in Superbad (2007)
Two months after in Knocked Up, Rogen continued his breakout summer with a supporting role in Superbad, which he happened to co-write during his teens. Where many of his other combinations suffer from the best scenes happening apart, Rogen and Bill Hader appear in all of their scenes together, playing a perfect match of rookie officer and veteran partner who probably shouldn’t be cops. Their hilarious dynamic is on full display from the moment they first come across the legend that is McLovin.
1. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne in Neighbors (2014) and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)
The poster for Neighbors has three people and two names on it. None of those are Rose Byrne, arguably the funniest person in the film. One of Byrne’s specialities is being able to have chemistry with literally everyone (the surprisingly delightful Instant Family is a prime example), and that is once again the case with Rogen. The film smartly lets her character be fully engaged in the shenanigans instead of being relegated to the nagging wife, despite Mac’s (Rogen) declaration that “We can’t both be Kevin James.” Retorts Byrne’s Kelly, “I have a little bit of Kevin James in me.” Indeed, this is the King of Rogen’s Pairings.