Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Love You, Man (****1/2)

I Love You, Man. 110 mins. R. Directed by John Hamburg. Written by John Hamburg and Larry Levin. Starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, and Jon Favreau.

The two stars of I Love You, Man gave audiences the two best comedies of last year (Segel with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Rudd with Role Models), so it's no big surprise to find that their new flick together is just as good, and on the short list for one of the funniest movies of 2009. Paul Rudd is on fire here, earning laughs every time he's on screen - which is pretty much the entire movie. He plays Peter Klaven, a successful real estate agent who, after getting engaged, realizes he doesn't have any good male friends to make his best man. He then sets out on a series of awkward "man dates" trying to find a new best bro. Segel is Sydney Fife, the lucky suitor - an easygoing, brutally honest guy who bonds with Peter over Rush songs and brings out a whole new side of him, much to the dismay of Peter's fiancee, nicely played by the very likeable Rashida Jones. Rudd and Segel play off each other really well, and whether their dialogue is scripted or improvised, they make the most of every awkward situation and sincere emotion, creating a believable male friendship that's also funny as hell. The humor in I Love You, Man is smart and truthful, and resorts to gross-out gags and crude language only when necessary and doesn't rely on them, like so many other R-rated comedies these days, as a crutch. Writer-director John Hamberg improves greatly on his last effort, the sporadically amusing Along Came Polly, and has a really interesting idea to work with here. Platonic, hetero man-love hasn't really gotten a fair shake on screen, and is rarely discussed in real life as well. How does somebody make new guy friends later in life? I Love You, Man explores the hows and whys of that, which gives the comedic happenings an undercurrent of relevance and dramatic weight (not much obviously - this is mostly just a laugh-out comedy). I gotta say, I loved this movie, man.



At 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greatest trip to the movies all year hands down. I love you man , for recommending "I Love You Man". Makes "InkHeart" seem secondary, and "Sin Nombre" is just garbage.


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