One of my favorite comedies of the last ten years was the sleeper hit and instant cult classic Shaun of the Dead. The combination of dry British humor, biting social commentary, and loving satire of the zombie apocalypse was a perfect mix. While Hot Fuzz was not quite as good as Shaun of the Dead, it was still an awesome and fun love letter to its particular genre. Well, I just got home from seeing the latest collaboration between writer/stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Paul, and it was even more spectacular than Shaun of the Dead. I haven’t laughed this hard at such a well-written and smart comedy since Role Models or Pineapple Express. You should go see this in theatres right now.

Paul is about two best friends, Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost), British geeks who are visiting America for Comic-Con and then touring important extra-terrestrial sites here in the States. They come across an alien by the name of Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), who is on the run from the U.S. Government who has been holding him at Area 51 for over 60 years. The cast is rounded out by Bill Hader (Superbad), Kristen Wiig (Knocked Up), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) and Sigourney Weaver (Alien). Graeme and Clive decide to help Paul get to where his friends will rescue him and on their journey, mayhem and madcap antics ensue. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but I will say that it goes to some, while predictable, still ridiculously hilarious places.

If you’ve seen Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, I obviously don’t need to tell you how hilarious Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are as a pair. They’re, in all likelihood, the funniest comic actors from across the pond since Eric Idle and John Cleese. And then, someone had the brilliant idea to pair them up with the regular cast members of Judd Apatow projects, who are among the most consistently funny actors here in the States. The film is a perfect amalgamation of raunchy American/Apatow humor and dry, sardonic British humor. And the movie never fails to make you laugh.

This film is obviously a love letter to the science fiction genre and to geeks everywhere, and it nails all of those notes right. I lost track of how many subtle (and not so subtle) shout-outs there were to the all time great science fiction films. Although my personal favorite was when they entered a red neck bar in Wyoming, only for the “Cantina Theme” from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to be played by the bar band. Not to mention that it plays the geeks and nerds in an entirely sincere way instead of for constant yuks. Much like The 40 Year Old Virgin‘s Andy, Graeme and Clive are pretty much real characters, although obviously not as nearly well fleshed out as Steve Carrell’s Andy.

I’ve ranted enough about how much I loved this movie. Needless to say, I can’t wait to watch it again. If you like Judd Apatow films or you like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s previous pairings, then there is absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t see this film. The only people that I wouldn’t recommend this movie to are those who are highly religious because this movie definitely takes some hilarious knocks at blind religious faith and turns a devoutly religious girl into a foul-mouthed fornicator by the end of the film. Of course, that only made it better for me. This is a must see movie.

Final Score: A

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