Starring:Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, Rashida Jones, Jon Favreau, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Jaime Pressly
Director: John Hamburg
Writer(s): John Hamburg, Larry Levin
Cinematography: Lawrence Sher
Original Score: Theodore Shapiro
Running Time:105 Mins.
If I told you director and writer of I Love You, Man, John Hamburg, was the man who previously gave us mediocre Ben Stiller/Jennifer Aniston rom-com Along Came Polly you may baulk at the thought of something else from his pen, let alone with him behind the camera, but alas I Love You, Man really is something special in the comedy stakes hitting high on the laugh-o-meter and taking the totally predictable three act pitch and making it seem anything but humdrum and dull.
Starring two of Hollywood’s top comic talents it was on to a winner from the off really, with both Segel and Rudd bringing their A-game, though there is no denying Rudd does anything remarkably different to his affable everyman routine (see The 40 Year Old Virgin or Role Models) he has honed it too a T and this time the level of embarrassment from his charater is so funny it’s painful, this is not overt Ben Stiller awkward embarrassment it’s genuine lack of knowing what and what isn’t deemed “cool”.
This time round Rudd’s predicament this time round is that upon proposal to his girlfriend he discovers that he really has no real male friends, most importantly (initially at least) this means he also has no best man, cue a series of ‘man-dates’ which all go disastrously wrong, to divulge any more detail would be to rob you of some big laughs but let me just say that very few stones are left unturned in the first date department! I Love You, Man you see, is a new breed of rom-com unafraid to push the stereotypes of the ‘modern man’, dubbed a ‘Bromance’ we have the straight laced man who meets the crazy guy (usually a guy and a girl however!) and they bond fall out and have a big make up at the end, except the making up here is far from sexaul and innocently embraces the current trend for ‘guy love’ seemingly coined by Scrubs.
Let us not forget Kevin Smith has been doing this for the last 10 years, but I Love You, Man is probably the first time that said topic has become the focus and it does it in such a way that I’m sure a chord will be touched with many a male audience member, though there will be many laughs to be wrung at the expense of the predicament for the girls.
Though as solid as the premise and as good as Rudd, predictably, is it is in Jason Segel that the film finds its trump card, far removed from the loser he played in his break-out role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Segel lets loose here and makes the film his own, the relationship between he and Rudd is sweet to the point of realism with it never feeling mawkish as could so easily have been the case and the various things they get up to are funny because you can see the realism in them , imagining times you did such things though maybe not with such a crazy person.
If there’s a weak link it’s in Rudd’s fiance, though she is inevitably given very little to do other than sit back and watch as her soon to be husband become more ‘laddy’, embracing his new found friends idea of letting go, but this can be overlooked simply by the rest of the stunning support cast that has been assembled with Jon Favreau taking some time out from directing Iron Man to be effortlessly hilarious and JK Simmons and Andy Samberg as father and brother providing some sage advice to young Rudd, “Your brother is about the coolest guy I know”…enough said!
There is comedy gold to be found in this ‘Bromance’ due primarily to Jason Segel, making I Love You, Man a must for all guys and a unremitting laugh fest for anyone else, go on and feel the ‘guy love’!