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I Love You, Man is a delightful film not just for its brand of humour
which worked almost all the time, nor because it stars the bunch of
contemporary jokers who have taken Hollywood by storm, but because it
had a meaningful story to tell, and has translated that key insight of
friendships and relationships for the big screen effortlessly, wrapping
up some deep, intrinsic behavioural observation deceptively behind a
curtain of laughter.
Like the 40 Year Old Virgin in its quest for a woman to get laid with to pop his cherry, this film works on the reverse in its protagonist's quest for a male friend, since Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) has no problems with female friendship as he's the quintessential ladies man, only that he's about to marry his fiancé Zooey (Rashida Jones). Since the bride has a maid of honour, it's up to Peter to find a balance in a best man, only that he hasn't really had a man friend for the longest time, and so begins a crazy montage of hooking up with casual friends in the hope of striking gold.
It might seem like a hypothetical situation, but as the film progressed, it brings to mind how many of us have friends (male or female) that we sometimes take for granted in knowing that they'll always be there for us. Only a reality check brings up the fact that everyone has their own personal lives to lead, and it wouldn't be nice to impose (mid-life crisis singles, hands up here), especially not with an ulterior motive. Some of us too when having a girlfriend, tend to allow male friends to fall on the wayside as we skirt chase, and depending on whether you get someone who provides that much leeway as Zooey, you can kiss goodbye to those male-bonding sessions.
Then there's the difference between the premise of a girl's night out, and a guy's, and the dynamics of what happens within the groups. It can be somewhat stereotypical here in the film, but you get the drift as the film lays it all out on the table, with the girls talking about the boy-stuff behind their backs, and the worst bit being that cause for comparison, and the guys, well, talk about what else, sex! There are some lines clearly drawn here in what can, or cannot be discussed, and how much of that you can bring to the table, and how much you can take away from. A secret's a secret, and should stay that way with clear segregation in order to prevent upsetting anyone. Talk about compromises and "truth".
If what you're saying is that it reeks of hypocrisy, then yes, sometimes it does, and the married couple played by Jaime Pressly and Jon Favreau (yes, he who directed Iron Man) epitomizes the crankiness of a marriage with its idiosyncrasies, and the hypocrisies that come with presenting a united front, and worse of all, trading favours in both directions. They have some of the best lines and insane moments in the film, and poor Jon has got to suffer two verbal abuses (for you to watch and find out).
Many of us who have remembered Jason Segel's comical turn in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and here he cuts his Sydney Fife both ways, one an alpha male type who seems way cool with his frat boy sensibilities, which is actually a facade for a lonely life he leads in his garage where he can be the man he actually is. As the friendship between Peter and Sydney grow from their numerous hanging out sessions, from short drinking sessions to weekend rendezvous just to jam to their favourite tunes, so too does the strain in Peter and Zooey's relationship, because as the saying goes, two's a company, and three's a crowd. This aspect serves as an adversary in the film, though it doesn't come unexpected when it suddenly dawns upon Peter that he can't have two birds in one hand. Being the novice in this aspect of a man-friend relationship here, there are many times Peter trips up, and the experienced us would know that it's perfect danger territory to find yourself in.
And who would have thought friendship and relationships could be such a chore, especially when expectations start flying around being that spanner ready to be thrown in the works. As a comedy, this film hit plenty of right spots in eliciting laughter from the audience, with funny lines that do work, and carefully crafted characters in Peter (with his nonsensical one- liner conversation endings, and nicknames), and Sydney being quite multi-dimensional. And what's a film like this about man-friends without that dose of fanboy-dom in it, with the Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno playing himself in a very short supporting role, and many other film references thrown in for good measure too?
I Love You, Man is an excellent story on friendship, and what makes friendship tick. For that and its healthy dose of comedy, and a great spin on the tired romantic-comedy genre, it goes without a surprise into my list of contenders for top films of the year.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Man, I love Paul Rudd. And I'm almost positive that right after you
watch his latest feature, you will too.
Paul Rudd (Clueless, The Shape of Things, Anchorman, "Friends", 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Role Models) plays Peter Klaven, a semi-successful real estate agent who proposes to his beautiful girlfriend of eight months, Zooey, played by the talented heartmelter Rashida Jones (Karen from "The Office").
Their relationship seems almost picture perfect, their classic love-at-first-sight story, their comfortable HBO TV Nights, and best of all, her girl friends adore him. The only problem is, Peter's guy friends don't care much for Zooey, because well, he doesn't have any. In fact, he's never really had any. Which begs the question: Who the hell will be Peter Klaven's Best Man at his wedding??
A couple of uncomfortable and unpredictable man dates later, enter Sidney (Jason Segel), who shows up at an open house hosted by Peter Klaven. Only he's not there to check out the multi-million dollar estate owned by "The Incredible Hulk" Lou Ferrigno. Sidney's there to scope out the recent divorcées who commonly show up at open houses, and to grab some free sandwiches while he's at it.
With Sidney's uncanny understanding of male behavior, his barbaric display of testosterone, his similar taste in Rock & Roll, and his honest and vulgar approach to male bonding (hence the R-Rating), is this really the Best Man Pete's been looking for? Or the Worst Man that could ever happen to not only Pete's pending marriage with Zooey, but also his career, and ultimately his life??
As implied by the sentimental title, this film was building up to be the definitive Bromantic Comedy, and in my opinion, they pulled it off. I Love You, Man is Paul Rudd at his finest. He charmed his way into a clueless Alicia Silverstone, he started a timeless string of homophobic questioning with Seth Rogen, and he helped a self-loathing Jason Segel forget Sarah Marshall with a spaced out surf lesson.
Now Paul's back to find a best man, and the chemistry he has with the best man to-be is pure comedy. Thankfully we get a front row seat to all his awkwardness, his flamboyance, his unabashed silliness, and his hopelessness, and all of it is completely hysterical, and completely endearing. (You know how I know you're gay? You think Paul Rudd is endearing.)
Alongside Paul is a unique ensemble of characters, including Andy Samberg playing Pete's gay brother, JK Simmons playing the everyman father (not unlike his role as Juno's dear old dad), and a handful of other awesome cameos that create some great moments. Director John Hamburg does a great job of creating an open environment to let them play off of each other, uninhibited and sometimes ridiculous.
I Love You, Man is funny, honest, over-the-top yet true-to-life, and yes, I'll say it again, completely endearing.
Though you won't find the name Judd Apatow on this film at all, he
certainly has a hand in it, as his influence is all over the film.
However, unlike most of the movies that can certainly be grouped with
this one, 'I Love You, Man' is a movie almost anyone can enjoy, even
women and kids. It's the lightest, warmest, and the best for buddies of
either sex to see. It's a delightful comedy that will make you laugh
throughout and brighten your day.
Whether it be the great buddy chemistry between the leads, or the simply hysterical supporting cast, I found myself loving this movie. Like director John Hamburg's previous effort, 'Along Came Polly', the movie is incredibly likable because it relies on the awkward humor that Paul Rudd does pretty much perfectly, playing off the happy-go-lucky humor of Jason Segel.
Rudd is likable and reliable as usual in a role showcasing the best of his abilities (I really can't say how happy I am that he's finally getting leading roles), and unlike in 'Role Models', he's the undisputed lead here. Segel is a character in Rudd's story, his life, and his journey to find a friend, and essentially, become a complete person before his life changes for the better. Segel is at his best in a role as what appears to be the perfect friend (I would hang out with this guy for days). Rashida Jones is adorable and likable as Rudd's fiancé, and it's a role that most actresses would've over done (Jaime Pressly's performance should remind people of how it could've been over done), and Jones plays it with an ease that makes her likable.
The supporting cast is what makes the movie great. It's the foundation of characters played by Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio, Jon Favreau, Jaime Pressly, and Andy Samberg that completes the movie and makes it worth watching (because, let's face it, the movie wouldn't be that great if Rudd and Segel just sat around bro-ing out for 2 hours). Lennon and Truglio are hilarious as candidates for Peter's best man position, and Lennon will bring down the house as Doug, with his classic monologue about how he feels when his advances towards Peter are rejected. Truglio is great in yet another small cameo that stacks up with his previous appearances in 'Pineapple Express' and 'Superbad', as well as the icing on the cake that was 'Role Models' (he's an example of the whole "everyone will like this movie" thing. Jon Favreau is hysterical in his part as a cynical ass that makes you go, "this guy directed 'Iron Man'?".
I think the reason most people will like this one is because it'll put a smile on most people's faces. It's a generally happy movie that is a good movie to see in a group to start off a night, and is even a decent date movie. It's got jokes that even kids can like (though most of the film is obviously not appropriate for them...what I'm saying is if they HAVE to see one of these movies, this is the one for them). I really enjoyed this movie, it left a good taste in my mouth, and my friends loved it too.
Just saw a screening of this movie. It was great. Paul Rudd & Jason
Segel are an amazing match - we've seen that in "Forgetting Sarah
Marshall" - their chemistry is natural...and it just works. I laughed A
lot during this movie. It's been a while since I've run across a comedy
that is smarter than most in terms of humor.
The other supporting characters are quirky, delicious... Jamie Pressley plays to perfection. I recommend this movie to everyone for a great laugh...it's a very feel-good movie. Oh, and Rashida Jones was cute, lovable and had a great character to play. I haven't seen her in too many movies in the past, so it was refreshing to see a different leading lady for a chance.
When I first heard about this movie, I became a little irritated. The
premise seemed to me like a "romantic comedy for gays" except with a
few lines to make it a "bromance." It makes sense, as most guys in the
target age group (high schoolers and college aged) are quite
uncomfortable discussing sexual orientation in any context (Don't
believe me? Try raising the topic with your best buddies). It seemed
like it was wimping out instead of taking a chance and really making a
movie that could make said guys comfortable about this sort of thing.
This may be the film's intention, but it hides it well. The romance between Peter (Paul Rudd) and Zooey (Rashida Jones) is well-integrated and quite important to the story. If anything, it represents a major stepping stone.
I approached this film with much trepidation; I don't especially like Judd Apatow movies. Some of the stuff is funny, but a lot of it is too understated, like Clark Duke in "Sex Drive" or "Kick Ass" (watch the trailers of either one of those movies and when the dorky kid with glasses talks, you'll see what I mean). Worse, Jason Segel wrote and starred in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," a movie of that ilk that I didn't like at all. Fortunately, none of those characteristics made into this movie. The jokes flow naturally and the film has energy and chemistry between the actors. This result is 90+ minutes of absolute hilarity.
Peter (Paul Rudd) has always been a ladies man. Women love him, and he finds them very easy to talk to. That's one of the reasons why Zooey (Rashida Jones) falls head over heels for him, and when he proposes, she accepts. But once wedding plans get underway, he realizes that he has no best guy friends to make up his share of the wedding party. So with his friends encouragement, he sets out to find a new best guy friend. After a few disastrous "man dates," he runs into Sydney (Jason Segel), a fun loving guy with a lot of advice on how to break loose and have fun.
The best thing about this movie is that everything unfolds naturally. True, it follows the familiar beats of the genre, but nothing that happens is contrived. The characters actions are genuine and make sense from what we know about them, and that makes it more honest (not to mention effective.
The leads are great. Paul Rudd tones down the "funny smartass" personality that made him famous and instead acts like a likable guy, albeit without male/male social skills and a penchant for creating bad nicknames and catchphrases. Peter is an easy guy to like, and he has good chemistry with both of his co-stars, Rashida Jones and Jason Segel. Segel is a revelation. He's one of the most likable characters I've seen on screen in a long time. He's easy going and earnest, the type of guy anyone would want as a best friend. However, some of his philosophies on life and social skills come off as scripted, and try as he might, Segel isn't able to make them sound otherwise. Rashida Jones is also very good (looking and sounding like Jessica Alba, only more relaxed). When Peter tells her about Sydney, she's excited for him. If us guys could all have such wives, we'd be in heaven. As the gay brother who is on hand to give advice about "man dating," Andy Samberg is far less irritating and obnoxious than he was in the utterly awful "Hot Rod," which is near the top of my list of one of the worst movies ever made.
John Hamburg is making a comedy, and like the best ones, he lets everything flow naturally. The humor isn't kept on mute, or drained of energy, or kept low-key. It's totally natural, and that's what makes this such a funny, and dare I say it, touching, comedy. I was actually discussing this film with my best guy friend, and the movie reminded us quite strongly of the sort of things we would do when we were in college together. Movies that have establish that kind of a connection with a viewer don't come along very often.
The makers of the film tried to follow in the style of director Judd
Apatow, you know add in some raunchiness, but not too much of it, but
at the same time make it heartwarming and relatable. Like The 40-Year
Old Virgin(2005), and Knocked Up(2007) where.
The story starts with Peter(Paul Rudd) who purposes to his longtime girlfriend Zooey(Rashida Jones), and she says yes. And should be smooth sailing from there right, well not so much. Peter quickly discovers that he has no best man for his wedding, the painful fact is that Peter has never really had a male friend, most of his best friends are females. So Peter goes out on a search by going on a couple of man dates, in hopes to find the perfect B.F.F.. But comes close to giving up, until he meets Sydney(Jason Segel), a wild fun loving guy. Peter and Sydney soon become the best of friends, has Sydney shows Peter on how to be wild and crazy. But will it put a strain on his relationship with Zooey?
One funny comedy, that hits it's mark perfectly. And a great bunch of characters, that don't over do it either. Paul Rudd is great, always, he had better chemistry with Rashida Jones and Jason Segel, then he had with Elizabeth Banks and Seann William Scott. Rashida Jones is also great in her role, although she doesn't quite get the big laughs, she endearing and believable in her role. Jason Segel was perfectly cast also, he managed to get some good laughs. And rest of the supporting cast are memorable. Including Lou Ferrigno as himself.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Even though Judd Apatow had nothing to do with this film (as far as I
know), it will inevitably be compared to both "Forgetting Sarah
Marshall" and "The 40 Year Old Virgin". It's not very hard to see why,
since both male leads are frequently in lead or supporting roles in
Apatow-directed or -produced films. Since those two films most
especially exceeded many people's expectations, Jason Segel and Paul
Rudd both probably had a lot of pressure for this film to be funny.
Fortunately, this film succeeded in being as funny and as refreshingly
honest as the aforementioned comedies.
"I Love You, Man" is a comedy that doesn't quite fit into the "romantic comedy" or "feel good comedy" categories. It has elements of both, and fortunately, all the right elements.
The premise of the movie is a bit unconventional. Paul Rudd plays Peter Klaven, a moderately successful and ambitious real estate broker who just proposed to his beautiful and articulate girlfriend, played brilliantly by Rashida Jones. He seems to have everything going for him, until he realizes he doesn't have a best guy friend. All his life, he has had woman friends, which isn't a bad thing. However, he feels a void, especially since he doesn't have a best man to choose. He enlists the help of his mother (SNL alum Jane Curtin) and brother (current SNL player Andy Samberg) to find a guy friend, creating a hilarious montage of unsuccessful "man dates". After those attempts don't go well, he spontaneously meets a broker named Sydney Fife (Jason Segel). Through Peter's awkwardness with having a best male friend, they hit it off. However, Peter's cluelessness with what information to share with a male friend as opposed to a female friend creates tension between new friend Sydney, his fiancé, and her friends.
The premise is one of the best things about this film. It's safe to say that everyone has had moments where everything is going right except for one minor thing, except it doesn't seem too minor to you the more you think about it. One of the most poignant scenes is when Rudd is driving around L.A., and he sees various types of male bonding. The left-out look on Rudd's face was both heartfelt and understandable. Of course, when he asks his family for help, it's not made clear why he didn't ask his brother to be his best man. The brothers appear to get along well, although once Rudd's character goes on a quest to find a guy friend, Samberg's character appears to get pushed into the background until the very end. Samberg was very funny in this movie, but his character created this tiny plot hole in the film.
That being said, Jason Segel's character was absolutely brilliant, and the opposite of whom he played in both "Freaks and Geeks" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". He's confident in this movie, and his humor comes from street smarts more than awkwardness and self-doubt. That's not to say his previous performances weren't good. Rather, Segel shows in this movie that he's good at playing a different kind of ambitious person. His lines are often times laugh-out-loud funny, and he plays very well off of Paul Rudd's slightly unsure-of-himself character.
Of course, in similar buddy movies, there's always the subplot when a person is either married or in a committed relationship, that the main guy meets an outgoing other guy, they become friends, and they spend so much time together that the wife/steady-girlfriend immediately becomes jealous. This subplot is especially prevalent in movies where Jennifer Aniston is that girl. Here, Rashida Jones plays a far more realistic counterpart to Paul Rudd. She's not immediately jealous of Segel, but there is some friction later in the movie. The most refreshing part is that Jones' character is far more reasonable than other similar characters. Her reactions are familiar, yet she still maintains a calm dignity throughout the movie that's rare, especially in romantic comedies. Jones, a regular on "The Office", shows brilliance in this role. As long as she stays the hell away from chick flicks along the lines of "She's Just Not That Into You", she'll be a welcome face in film, and not just in Judd Apatow-influenced movies.
I highly recommend this picture. It's funny in some of the same ways the aforementioned Judd Apatow films are, but there's another level of refreshing honesty, brilliant writing, laugh out loud humor, and a slightly-unusual plot line that sets it apart from those films. It hasn't been released to theaters yet, but when it does, I hope it's a hit. If the writing team here was worried movie goers would think the film to be "Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2", hopefully they won't have anything to worry about.
Kevin Klaven (Paul Rudd) hasn't a friend in the world - or so he
realizes when he becomes engaged to Zooey (Rashida Jones) and finds he
can't come up with a single male buddy to be in his wedding party. The
solution? Go out and make some platonic guy friends, even if it means
having to rely on your mommy (Jane Curtin) and your gay younger brother
(Andy Samberg) to help you do it. Eventually, after a number of
faltering attempts, Kevin alights on Sydney (Jason Segel), a mucho
macho bundle of testosterone who, like a latter-day Henry Higgins to
Kevin's Eliza Doolittle, instructs the awkward lad on the fine art of
"being a man." But as with any good teacher/pupil relationship, each
side winds up learning a little something from the other before it's
A straight man far more comfortable in the company of women than of men, Kevin emerges as the ultimate metrosexual figure: fastidious in demeanor, sensitive to the needs of others, and courteous to a fault (he even admits to liking "The Devil Wears Prada" in a moment of unguarded weakness). He doesn't really know how to roughhouse it with the boys, and any efforts he makes in that direction inevitably lead to failure. Until our man Sydney steps into the breach to give him a few badly needed pointers, that is.
Smoothly directed by John Hamburg, "I Love You, Man" is a relaxed, breezy and sharply written male-bonding comedy that - miracle of miracles - doesn't play down to its audience (it may be crude at times, but it's rarely childish). The Hamburg/Larry Levin screenplay does a clever job poking fun at the double entendres inherent in any modern-day bromance, though one wishes certain characters - Kevin's family members, in particular - had been allotted a little more in the way of screen time. That being said, the performances are all first-rate, with Rudd and Segel playing to their respective strengths - Rudd's of the tongue-tied, self-effacing Mr. Nice Guy who needs lessons in "manning up," and Segel's of the refreshingly blunt but socially indelicate Man/Child who clearly needs to do some growing up.
There's additional excellent work from J.K. Simmons, Jamie Pressly, Sarah Burns and Rob Huebel, among others.
It's also a bit of a casting coup to get both Jane Curtin from the first generation of SNL players and Andy Samberg from the current one together in the same film. Finally, some unlikely cameo appearances by Lou Ferrigno and the band Rush, all appearing as themselves, add to the spirit of fun that permeates the film.
We all know that Hollywood seems to have the originality of a spastic
Xerox machine;in other words,find a successful formula and there'll be
about eighteen different takes or copies of it lying in wait. Never
does the dearth of originality seem to raise its big old ugly head than
in relationship movies,sometimes called romantic comedies or "rom
coms". Even when different angles seem to be explored,they still come
to the same,tired wrap-up that involve the cute major players,boy and
girl,to find love in each others' arms despite the obstacles. Every
once in a while,I'm relieved to say,you do run across a film that
decides to mine the margins of these love stories to make a movie.
I submit to you I Love You Man,made with the sensibility--and at least two members of the stable of actors--of a Judd Apatow/Greg Mottola film,and VERY appreciated.
Peter Klaven(Paul Rudd,the nicest,most likable mensch in movies and TV today,with a punum you could just....)is a reasonably successful Real Estate agent in Southern California whose engagement to Zoe(Rashida Jones,the girlfriend from Heaven)couldn't be going better. They're very much in love and she gets his silly,sometimes lame persona and he appreciates her patience and physical receptiveness. Everything's going well for their impending connubial bliss,save one thing:Peter has no guy friends. None. While Ol' Pete has a great touch with the ladies,he has almost no bro bonding to fall back on.
This previous situation,once not considered a problem if even considered at all now weighs upon our hero,and he gets help(both solicited and not)from family--Mom(Jane Curtin)and bro(Andy Samberg)--and from fiancé herself. The phrase 'hilarity ensues' is overused but,in these instances,they apply.
Then walks into an open house Sidney Fife(Jason Segel,physically the same from Forgetting Sarah Marshall,but character-wise a near one-eighty),an investment broker whose own,self-actualized sense of zen and bro-supreme self-sufficiency hits it off perfectly with Peter,balancing the groom-to-be's pleasant but feminine recessive qualities.
Featuring a supporting cast that doesn't try to stand out but still does: Curtin,Samber,J.K.Simmons(as Peter's dad),Tom Lennon(as a potential guy friend "suitor"),Sarah Burns(as one of Zoe's more pathetic friends),Jaime Pressly(as Zoe's perpetually angry married friend),Jon Favreau(as Pressly's dickish husband)and Lou Ferrigno(as...well,Lou Ferrigno),this film has a delightful time bringing to screen a "love" story angle that is as fresh,real and relatively ignored in most movies starring(pick any two of the following):Matthew McConaughey,Kate Hudson,Sandra Bullock,Meg Ryan,Hugh Grant,Ryan Reynolds,Renee Zellweger,Richard Gere or Reese Witherspoon. Co-writer John Hamburg directs this film,and he seems to be perfectly fine with letting this film amble along to its conclusion,scattering more than its share of laughs and pratfalls along the way. If this isn't love I felt for this fine film,it certainly with a fine affinity,nay a mild infatuation,I felt here...man(you HAD to know THAT was coming).
Funny movies have to be funny. That's the only rule about funny movies.
They don't have to live up to any expectations, they can be about the
same thing that movies always are. It really doesn't matter. As long as
they are funny.
I Love You, Man is a funny movie. In case the plot is of any interest to you, it's about this guy (Paul Rudd) who is getting married to this woman (Rashida Jones), but he realizes that he doesn't really have any male friends to fill out his side of the wedding party. So he starts on a quest with the aid of his brother (Andy Samberg) to find a best man. When he finally thinks he finds one (Jason Segel), hilarity ensues.
On the spectrum of comedies, this is a bro movie. One made basically for guys, a little raunchy. But honestly, it's not too R-rated. It cusses a bit, discusses sex a lot, things like that. But not nearly as R-rated as say... Role Models, which I feel is sort of along the same lines. Comparable at least. They are both very funny movies, and both have Paul Rudd.
But this is about I Love You, Man. The highlight of the movie, for me, is Thomas Lennon as Doug. I have been a fan of his for a long time, at least since Reno 911 came out. Which is a brilliant show. Paul Rudd is very, very cute, but not always convincing, the same with Rashida Jones as his fiancée. It's a movie that Ben Stiller would have made if he were younger. Jason Segel does what Jason Segel does. He plays his role very capably as Sydney, the crazed friend.
And that is I Love You, Man. It's a rather simple, but funny movie.
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