In Lars and the Real Girl, he plays a key supporting role as the older brother of Lars, a troubled and introverted young man whose new companion is a doll he ordered online. The movie does not go in for cheap laughs. It is careful instead of knee-jerk, thoughtful instead of facile, and generous instead of petty. (Also, Patricia Clarkson does a superb job and . . . whoops, she's been on Parks & Rec recently. Sorry, Paul.)
In All the Real Girls, he takes the lead as a womanizer who forces himself into sincerity when he falls for his best friend's sister. It is not a romantic comedy. (The currently overexposed Zooey Deschanel is also in this, but don't hold that against the movie. It came out in 2003.) (And, also, Patricia Clarkson is here, too.)
Representative quote from Paul's character (Lars and the Real Girl): [on what it means to be a man] "Like, you don't jerk people around, and you don't cheat on your woman, and you take care of your family, you know, and you admit when you're wrong, or you try to, anyways. That's all I can think of --- it sound like it's easy and for some reason it's not."
Representative quote from Paul's character (All the Real Girls): "When people from before come up, I want you to understand what they hate when they see me."
Connection to previous Wreckage: Paul Schneider played Mark Brendanawicz on the first two seasons of Parks and Recreation. And the show was very good! But season 3 was a-maz-ing (Rec. #119).
[Originally posted 10/15/11.]