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I Love You Man (2009)

R 104 minutes

Directed by John Hamburg
Written by John Hamburg, Larry Levin

 · Paul Rudd
 · Jason Segal
 · Rashida Jones
 · J.K. Simmons
 · Jamie Pressly
 · Jon Favreau
 · Andy Samberg

Review by Reel American Hero (Mike Keskeys)

The Judd Apatow crew has become a major Hollywood comedic force in recent years, it seems you can't go to the theater anymore without seeing something new from these guys. Matter of fact, when I was in the theaters for this one I saw trailers for at least two more movies from these guys.   And even though Judd Apatow himself has only directed two films thus far with a third on it's way to theaters, the rest of the actors and writers just keeps popping up.  And that's not a bad thing, at least not in my opinion. 




In I Love You Man, Paul Rudd (Role Models) plays Peter Klaven, a real estate agent who's just proposed to his girlfriend Zooey played by Rashida Jones ( The Office, Now You Know).  His only problem is that he's never had any real close male friends to be his best man.  So with help from his gay brother Robbie (Andy Samberg-Hot Rod, SNL) and parents played by J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man), and Jane Curtain (SNL, Third Rock From The Sun) he sets out to make a new friend.


  After a comic montage of failed attempts to find a friend that features apperances from alums of MTV's The State  Joe Latruglio and Thomas Lennon he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segal-Forgetting Sarah Marshall), at an open house he's doing to sell actor Lou Ferrigno's house.   The two hit it off almost instantly and Peter discovers what it is to have a best friend.   

I Love You Man can only be described as a, and I hate the term 'Bromantic Comedy'.  The whole trend, especially the word, 'bromance', is just irritatingly stupid to me, but this movie takes all the cliches of the romantic comedy, the cute meet, the breakup, etc, and applies them to the world of straight male friendships. And does so quite well in my opinion, thanks to a smart script filled with quotable dialogue by John Hamburg (Zoolander) and Larry Levin.   


 You could already tell there was comedic chemistry between Paul Rudd and Jason Segal in their few scenes together in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and the two of them carry this movie well together, like an American Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. 


Rashida Jones turned in a great performance as well.  I loved her on 'The Office' and in 'Now You Know', but it was here that was a true test of sorts in that you could see where she was coming from even when she was taking on the role of a road block in her fiancee's friendship, and never once came off as the one in the wrong, as it could have been handled by another actress.   The rest of the cast is just spectacular as well,  from J.K. Simmons' turn as the gay supporting father, to Jon Favreau's few scenes it's just comedic gold this entire movie.  


 The cinematography of Lawrence Sher (Garden State)  also needs to be credited for the greatness of the movie.  He makes southern California look a lot more spectacular than it actually is.  Now the cinematography isn't something you'd notice in most comedies, more focusing on the dialogue and performances, but there are a few great shots in here, my favorite being the scene in front of the water fountain, another romantic comedy cliche flipped into the guy friendship world and it made what was happening on screen funnier. 


 I also loved how the movie had all the best people from sketch comedy in the past thirty years showing up at various points throughout the movie.  From 'Saturday Night Live' to 'Human Giant' all are represented quite hilariously here.










   'I Love You Man' is one of those rare comedies that works as much from the female perspective as a guy's.  No doubt you'll be asked as you leave the theater if guys really behave like that when they're among each other if you see this movie on a date.  And the answer is mostly yes, it's all true.  It reminded me of a great scene from the tv series 'Spaced' that addressed the subliminal bond that all guys have when grouped with each other.  There's an unspoken bond there that turns us all into twelve year olds, and it's a nice release from the constraints that society puts on us.  Every now and again you just have to scream at the top of your lungs. Or just laugh out loud at a movie like this one.






Comedy is the 'Tower of Babel' of cinematic language,  if done right, it can appeal to anyone and everyone.   And this movie is one of those rare films.  It's a perfect movie to see on a date or even on a 'man-date'.  So break out your air guitar, crank up the Rush and go see 'I Love You Man'.  Even if you're sick of the Apatow crew, I think you will like it.

841 Words Published: 23 March 2009

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