Apatocalypse Now: Five Movies to Get You Through the Coming Judd Apatow Drought

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Photo: Photo-illustration: Getty Images

Over the past few years, we've been strictly conditioned to expect new Judd Apatow movies — like celebrity DUIs and Ryan Adams albums — to happen once every two or three weeks. But what if we told you there were no more Apatow-produced films being released for the rest of the 2008? It's true! According to IMDb, Pineapple Express is the last one until Year One, which won't be out until NEXT JUNE. Luckily, it's impossible to get a comedy green-lit these days unless it features at least one or two former Freaks and Geeks cast members and a story that casts some portly doofus as the romantic opposite of a gorgeous actress. After the jump, the five fall movies Hollywood hopes can fill the void.

1. Role Models


Release Date: November 14
Featured Apatow acolytes: Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong.
Apatovian plot: Rudd and Seann William Scott play man-children repping for an energy-drink company. After damaging public property, they're sentenced to community service, acting as Big Brothers to McLovin and a wisecracking black child. Paul Rudd grows up and scores with Elizabeth Banks.
How Judd Apatow could've made it funnier: Apatovian convention dictates that Paul Rudd's rugged handsomeness must be offset by the fatness of a schlubby sidekick. Assuming Seth Rogen was too busy, Seann William Scott's part should probably have been played by Jonah Hill.

2. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist


Release Date: October 3
Featured Apatow acolytes: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Jay Baruchel.
Apatovian plot: Playing against type as an inarticulate doofus, Cera is a guitarist in a queercore band. To save herself the embarrassment of being seen alone (or something), Dennings makes out with him. They spend a music-fueled night out in Manhattan.
How Judd Apatow could've made it funnier: The attractiveness differential between Cera and Dennings is too small for an actual Apatow movie, so he likely would've asked Cera to gain 40 pounds and wear a Jewfro wig.

3. Sex Drive


Release Date: October 17
Featured Apatow acolytes: None to speak of.
Apatovian plot: In this down-market Superbad, Josh Zuckerman stars as a geeky high-school senior who drives across the country to see a girl he befriended online by telling her he was a football player. Presumably she will have lied about something too, but probably not her looks, as she will likely be gorgeous and accept him for the off-brand McLovin that he is on the inside.
How Judd Apatow could've made it funnier: Casting the actual McLovin.

4. Zack and Miri Make a Porno


Release Date: October 31
Featured Apatow acolytes: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Craig Robinson.
Apatovian plot: Rogen and Banks star as lifelong friends down on their luck. After a fifteen-year high-school reunion underscores their lack of accomplishment, they decide to start their own amateur porn company. Then, inexplicably, they fall in love.
How Judd Apatow would've made it funnier: Jay Baruchel as a high-maintenance mustached porn actor with performance anxiety.

5. W.


Release Date: October 17
Featured Apatow acolytes: Elizabeth Banks.
Apatovian plot: Josh Brolin plays a Ferrell-esque man-child who can't hold down a job, bumbling his way through life and a presidency.
How Judd Apatow could've made it funnier: John C. Reilly as Laura Bush? Actually, Oliver Stone seems to have his bases pretty much covered here.