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Overall Rating
3.82

Awesome: 2.27%
Worth A Look79.55%
Average: 15.91%
Pretty Bad: 2.27%
Total Crap: 0%

6 reviews, 8 user ratings


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I Love You, Man
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by William Goss

"Let's Hear It for the Boys"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2009 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL: If you’re not prone to swapping slang with your closest pals, does that make you an ineffective friend? If you don’t exactly have any close pals of the same gender, does that make you an incomplete person? And if your fiancée discovers that you’ve no best man to call your own, would that make you two an incomplete couple? These are the hard issues that 'I Love You, Man' dares to face, and it doesn’t tackle romantic-comedy (bromantic?) convention along the way so much as it tickles the formula, intent on establishing moments of discomfort and then rewarding them with involuntary paroxysms of laughter.

I don’t know that many people find themselves in the scenario of desperately seeking a best man by the time such a critical juncture comes along, but our Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is indeed facing such a sitcom-worthy dilemma. He gets along well enough with his dad (J.K. Simmons) and his brother (Andy Samberg), though they tend to get along even better with one another, and while Zooey (Rashida Jones) claims that it’s no big deal, Peter has every reason to believe that he’d be better off finding himself a worthy wingman. Enter the comparatively care-free Sydney (Jason Segel), who will invariably help Peter loosen up a bit and maybe a bit too much for Zooey’s liking…

And so Peter and Sydney have their meet-cute and their second date and their shared interests and their divided loyalties. Surprises are few and far between, which is fine so long as the laughs come a bit steadier, which they do. Director/co-writer John Hamburg and co-writer Larry Levin aren’t out to subvert genre formula (though imagine if they had…), but they play up the standard-issue situations in surely exaggerated and heretofore forbidden form. They don’t hop and skip and jump all along Venice Beach in the name of true life, but they pal around and piss one another off as well as any hetero couple might.

Rudd is as charming as ever, a people-pleaser shifting his focus to pleasing just one person for his days to come and maybe clumsily making himself a bit more whole for going out on a limb with the downright bohemian (brohemian?) behavior of Segel, a character seemingly on vacation from himself, not to mention most social mores. Jones lends an adorable face to a thankless role; the pairings of Simmons and Samberg in addition to the begrudgingly married likes of Jon Favreau and Jaime Pressley are amusing in what small doses they appear; and with barely two scenes, Thomas Lennon steals more of the show than those past five actors can claim.

In the distinctly post-Apatow era of modern comedy, seeing someone like John Hamburg go from something like 'Along Came Polly' to something like 'I Love You, Man' is a modest example of just how the bar has been raised (instead of having Philip Seymour Hoffman ‘shart’ himself, we’re now treated to Paul Rudd vomiting upon Jon Favreau – gotta love that progress!). Naturally, having a cast of vets like Rudd and Segel at his disposal proves neither harm nor foul, but beyond the likely improvised zingers and the probably scripted social awkwardness, the slapstick takes a back seat to the sincerity, and when that’s the case, then really, what’s not to love?

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=17450&reviewer=409
originally posted: 03/20/09 05:17:36
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/02/10 Lacey M Had some parts that made me laugh out loud. Drags out the ending. 4 stars
5/06/10 Luisa Paul Rudd is hilarious! 5 stars
2/18/10 Robert Cunningham It is different, likeabe, not into the metrosexual thing. 4 stars
2/18/10 Danny Goode great movie 3 stars
2/03/10 Monday Morning I had no expectations and found this film delightful and funny. 4 stars
8/14/09 the dork knight A few dramatic conceits to one side, it's OK. Paul Rudd is castrated but likable. 4 stars
7/27/09 Simon My CAPS-happy friend below is right,but weirdly enough it works for me,unique comedy style 4 stars
4/12/09 PAUL SHORTT NEVER SETTLES INTO A COMFORTABLE COMIC GROOVE, BUT PERHAPS DISCOMFORT IS THE POINT 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  20-Mar-2009 (R)
  DVD: 11-Aug-2009

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Mar-2009
  DVD: 11-Aug-2009



[trailer] Trailer


Directed by
  John Hamburg

Written by
  John Hamburg

Cast
  Paul Rudd
  Jason Segel
  Jaime Pressly
  Rashida Jones
  Rob Huebel



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