“Paul” is a sweet comedy about two nerds in their forties who are obsessed with science fiction and aliens. On a road trip through the states, touring famous alien abduction locations like “Area 51” and “Roswell”, they run in to an Alien named Paul. Paul needs their help eluding the authorities and traveling to the spot where he is going to be picked up by a space ship. So they all saddle up in a rented Winnebago and head on a comedic journey.
“Paul” was directed by Greg Mottola, who helmed “Superbad” and the largely unseen “Adventureland”. Here he teams up with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, both from “Shaun Of The Dead”. The two play Clive and Graeme, two aging nerds from England who take a trip to the San Diego Comic Con. There they meet their favourite Sci-Fi author, Adam Shadowchild, played beautifully by Jeffrey Tambor.
After they attend the Con, they decide to take a road trip, visiting famous alien abduction sites. Along they way they rescue Paul, an actual alien voiced by Seth Rogen. They rescue him from a car accident. Turns out he is on the run from government agents who kept him captive at Area 51. The hilarious part is that Paul is much like many of the characters that Seth Rogen has played in the past. He smokes pot, wise cracks and curses like a Sailor.
Pursuing Paul are agents played by Jason Bateman, Bill Hader and Jo Lo Truglio. Joining Paul and his new companions is Kristen Wiig. There is lots of comedic talent here and none of it is wasted.
I have enjoyed Mottola’s films so far. Although this is not in the same league as his first two films, he proves once again that he can balance crude humor with sweet, likeable characters.