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Netflix series with Paul Rudd: I, just better


In his first series for Netflix, the Hollywood charm bolt Paul Rudd is doubled. What "Living with Yourself" does not make twice as funny - but great bleak.

You do not know Paul Rudd? That's a pity, but understandable - and maybe it's not true.

You may have already seen a comedy with him, "Always annoyance at 40", for example, and just can not remember his face. Paul Rudd, that's the nicest actor in all of Hollywood, the insanely sympathetic, verstrubbelte, clumsy, crazy man plays men.

Even as a superhero, he brings irony and understatement in the "Marvel Cinematic Universe": While this continues to expand due to sheer bombast, his all around friendly figure "Ant-Man" shrinks to insect size. The problem of Paul Rudd is only: Nice catches bad. Nice is quickly forgotten.

Not so his first Netflix series "Living with Yourself". The point is that Paul Rudd suddenly doubles. That even seems to be too much for Paul Rudd, at least this series gets a decidedly dark tone color. What could have been routinely worn comedy, develops little barbs that you as a viewer can not quickly shake off again. "Living with Yourself" is a lot, but not nice.

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"Living with Yourself": In the spa for the new me

It all starts with Rudd's main character Miles: At first you can find this sissy very sweet, which is taken neither by wife Kate (Aisling Bea) nor by colleagues in the advertising agency seriously. In his very first scene, this Miles kills a fly. This is awkward and harmless at first, but there is more to it: Miles' sluggishness and self-centeredness, his bad temper and his unbearably passive-aggressive self-pity are unbearable. He barely keeps himself out.

His chance for change sees Miles come when a colleague recommends a spa that turns lame middle-class mimosas into supposedly all-new success types that love life. What Miles does not know: This spa does not work with massages and acupuncture, but clones its clients. The old version will be disposed of without further ado, the new one is bursting with energy.

In Miles' case, however, a lot goes wrong, so that there are soon two living versions of his self, who very quickly want each other's throats. The new Miles is a beaming man who drives the old version crazy with his joie de vivre. Still, they try to come to terms with each other: one takes the stage, on which he inspires colleagues and Kate, the other writes on the play, which he wanted to finish long ago. A shaky truce that can not last long.

"Be the best you can be," is the advertising slogan of the ominous spa stamp. "Living with Yourself" makes this motto a dark satire about self-optimization in a world that demands performance in all situations: In the job anyway, at home, but also if, after the professional realization of course, the family founding is pending.

The directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris reuse Comedy as the vehicle for a basically bitter comment - as in their feature film "Little Miss Sunshine", with which they landed a surprise hit in 2006. The two are known for intelligent decisions in dramaturgy and direction, which develop great impact. Here, above all, the idea is to tell the story from changing perspectives - sometimes from the perspective of the old, sometimes the new Miles.

In addition, needle sticks repeatedly perforate the comedy sleeve with their funny hiding and confusion game: bloody pork halves land on windshields, an old man tells disturbing jokes from the concentration camp Birkenau, spa customers dig in the woods for corpses. And the double Miles is an icon for splintering male pictures.

But do not worry, "Living with Yourself" is always entertaining. Because there is still the nice Mr. Rudd, who penetrates into previously unimagined depths of his characters, but still holds the story together and knows how to smooth her scabby edges.

Source: spiegel

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