Movie Review for I Love You, Man (2009)

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I Love You, Man (2009) [R]
W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $12.50

| Released on: 3/20/2009 | Running Time: 104 minutes |
| official web site | | preview trailer | |coverage of premiere |
| soundtrackThe Bonedaddys - I Love You, Man (Music from the Motion Picture) | | spoiler || 2cOrNot2c |

Directed by: John Hamburg (Along Came Polly)
Written by: John Hamburg (Meet the Fockers) and Larry Levin (Dr. Dolittle 2)
Unsung Member of the Crew: Foley Mixer – Steve Copley

Featured Cast: (where you might remember him/her from)
Paul Rudd (Role Models) • Jason Segel (Knocked Up) • Rashida Jones ("The Office") • Jane Curtin (The Shaggy Dog) • Jon Favreau (Iron Man) • Jaime Pressly (Horton Hears a Who!) • Andy Samberg (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) • Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) • J.K. Simmons (New In Town)

There’s been some suggesting in the blogosphere that the term ‘bromance’ has got to go. What these bloggers and ranters may not realize is that ‘bromances’ signal a 180-degree turnaround for relationships between men removing many social stigmas as well as making it possible for men to love their buddy without an implications as to their sexual gender orientation. In fact, this is a huge step forward in male equality finally giving them the same freedom long afforded to their feminine counterparts – you know sort of like how American women have long been able to kiss hello or dance together at parties without it being perceived as anything sexual. This is a good and important step in the evolution of male culture in the USA, and John Hamburg’s latest film I Love You, Man exemplifies the definitive apex of this transition and the ultimate ‘bromance’ movie. The film begins with a marriage proposal. Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) has been dating Zooey (Rashida Jones) for a while, but longer than any other girl. Therefore, he proposes to her. She’s stunned, but graciously accepts. It’s not until after the proposal, however, that Peter suddenly realizes he’s got a problem. He has no one to be his best man at the wedding. In one of the more hilarious scenes of the film, Peter’s unsentimental family points out that he’s always sort of been a ladies’ man never really getting into guys and forming guy relationships. His fatther, Oswald (J.K. Simmons) shares that unlike his eldest son, he has two best friends one of whom is Peter’s younger brother, Robbie (Andy Samberg). This sets Peter out on a mission to meet men, so to speak. Robbie, having the advantage of being a trainer at a local athletic club as well as being into men himself, offers his brother some helpful advice and even sets him up on a ‘man-date’ as does his helpful mother, Joyce (Jane Curtin). Things are pretty disastrous causing him to wonder if he can meet men who just want to be friends. Meanwhile, on the home front, he’s been working for some time to buy a piece of land to develop in Los Angeles and the sale of Lou Ferrigno’s home is supposed to be his big meal ticket. Unfortunately, that deal is starting to fall apart, and things are looking bad as Peter cannot even seem to make friends with Zooey’s best friend’s poker-playing husband, Barry (Jon Favreau) and his buddies. Just when all hope is lost, Peter meets Sydney Fife at one of his Ferrigno Open House. Sydney, a self-proclaimed ‘cougar-hunter’ is there to hunt and take in the free food. Peter is immediately draw to Sydney’s frank and fun approach to life. Sydney also happens to be a pretty cool cat compared to Peter. So, after a few days, he gives Sydney a call, and they go out. Before you know it, they are fast friends, and before too much longer, he’s coming between Peter and Zooey who begins to think he’d be happier with Sydney. So, you’ll have to check out the spoiler for more details on the rest of the plot.

... the ultimate ‘bromance’ movie.
In many ways, this film really is the coming out party for Paul Rudd. For too long he’s really been the sidekick character in comedy films; but here, though his character’s still sort of the sidekick when it comes to Sydney’s character, Paul Rudd’s talents are the central focus of the film. From his hilarious inability to do anything but an Irish accent, and the thoughtful way he’s developed the character of Peter so that he can transform him into a truly cool guy of his own rites, Rudd is masterfully comedic and authentic at the same time. Meanwhile, Jason Segel proves himself again, as if he didn’t in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, that he’s up the particular challenge of deep dramedy. He builds Sydney up as a cool guy with a savvy but vulnerable side. Together, they make for a modern day, dare I say, version of Martin and Lewis. You’ll have so much fun watching their relationship develop and the layers of Peter’s personality fly off in jam session in the man-cave with Sydney. These two characters are so multifaceted and fresh you barely notice, however, the rest of the cast. It’s a tough role for Rashida Jones to play out because, really her character becomes second fiddle so quickly. Unfortunately, she fails a bit to bring out the elements that would make it obvious why Peter proposed to her in the first place. For me, I’d have to say she wasn’t the best casting choice. After Rudd and Segel, who stole the film for themselves, the next brightest performance came from Andy Samberg who plays the most interesting gay brother ever on film. Bravo for his casting here and the nonchalant way in which he plays the role. Finally a gay male character who doesn’t care about his hair! J.K. Simmons is now officially typecast as the dude to play the father of a dysfunctional child. Meanwhile, Jane Curtin proved herself underutilized in film today.

... Rudd is masterfully comedic and authentic ...
John Hamburg proves himself a worthy competitor for Judd Apatow who, frankly, has verged on turning formulaic of late. Hamburg delivers one of the most entertaining films of the year so far when it comes to insight and comedy. The film liberates men to go ahead and be ‘bromantic’ with their buddies. Plus, if all that weren’t enough, it has a couple of surprise twists and a great ending. The best ‘bromance’ ever.

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