I Love You, Man

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Photo Credit: DreamWorks SKG

The perfect definition of a bromantic comedy.

For years, I’ve been saying that every movie with Paul Rudd needs a little more Paul Rudd. Usually, he’s stuck playing wingman characters. But with the success of last year’s Role Models, Rudd has proved that he can carry a movie on his own. I Love You, Man further proves that he can do it. Finally – movies that don’t leave me asking for more Rudd.

In I Love You, Man, Rudd plays Peter Klaven, a guy very much in touch with his feminine side. Things are looking up for Peter. His perfect girlfriend Zooey (played by The Office‘s Rashida Jones) just accepted his wedding proposal; he’s been placed in charge of selling the multi-million dollar home of Lou Ferrigno (TV’s Incredible Hulk); and he’s about to invest the commission from that sale into developing a major piece of property in the heart of Los Angeles.

But just when Peter thinks he’s got it all, he overhears Zooey and her girlfriends making fun of the fact that he’s never really had any guy friends, that he wont have a best man or any groomsmen. It’s then that Peter sets off on a series of “man dates” set up by his mom (SNL‘s Jane Curtain) and his gay brother Robbie (SNL‘s Andy Samberg), none of which are successful. It’s when Peter holds an open house at the Ferrigno estate that he stumbles across the perfect man, Sydney Fife (played by Forgetting Sarah Marshall‘s Jason Segel).

Peter and Sydney are complete opposites. Peter is feminine, polite and reserved. Sydney is rude, loud and inconsiderate. If they were a dating couple, Peter would be the perfect woman and Sydney would be the stereotypical gross male.

Making guy friends is so foreign to Peter that every meeting or chat with Sydney reaches a level of awkwardness that rivals the BBC version of The Office. Certain scenes make you so uncomfortable that you squirm in your seat. The writers of I Love You, Man brilliantly wrote this script so that you could replace Sydney with a female character and it would translate into that initial weird phase that every relationship starts off with.

I Love You, Man doesn’t have much of a plot at all. It’s simply about a nervous guy trying to make friends. But that doesn’t matter because it’s filled with so much heart and good comedy that you’re entertained the entire time. It’s perfect for what it is.

Another element that makes I Love You, Man work on a higher level than most comedies is it’s cast. Since I’ve already expressed my “guy love” (see Scrubs) for Paul Rudd, let me explain to you why I enjoy him so much. Rudd plays a funnier version of what most guys feel like inside. The natural personality and “average guy” feeling he puts off is comparable to John Cusack. Every guy deep down inside wants to be John Cusack. Well, now you can out Rudd on that same level.

Jason Segel is mostly known for his work on TV’s How I Met Your Mother and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. What’s really fun about Segel in I Love You, Man is that he doesn’t play either of those characters. He plays something new, something we haven’t seen him do before. It’s refreshing to see these guys get away from the typical Judd Apatow productions where they usually play themselves or the same characters over and over again. Case and point: Seth Rogen.

The rest of the actors are perfect for their roles too. Rashida Jones is absolutely charming and does a great job on the big screen. It’ll be nice to see more of her in the future. Already-mentioned Ferrigno, Samberg and Curtain are hilarious. Other side actors include Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl), Jon Favreau (The Break-up, Iron Man), J.K. Simmons (Juno, Spider-man), and Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!), along with a number of other faces you’ll recognize.

Were it not for about two dozen F-words, I Love You, Man would be a perfect PG-13 comedy. Yes, it contains other language and adult content, but there’s no sex or nudity like we’ve become accustomed to by other R-rated comedies. If you can handle those things, then don’t miss I Love You, Man. It’s the funniest movie I’ve seen this year and will definitely be a hard one to out-do.

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