I Love You, Man (2009)
Release Date: March 20th, 2009 MPAA Rating: R
Director: John Hamburg Actors: Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Jason Segel, Andy Samberg, Jaime Pressly, Jon Favreau, Sarah Burns, J.K. Simmons
Love You, Man” exhibits both Paul Rudd and Jason Segel’s nearly impeccable comic timing, which admirably extracts the maximum number of laughs from a script that can’t quite keep up with their momentum. The plot offers virtually no surprises, and its formulaic approach to a fairly unique perspective on the awkward humor of male bonding doesn’t help the film’s impact. Fortunately, the two leads’ enthusiastic energy (and willingness to do anything for a laugh) keeps the proceedings lively, raunchy, and often surprisingly entertaining.
After Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) proposes to his girlfriend, Zooey (Rashida Jones), and begins preparing for their big day, he realizes he’s never really had a close enough friend to be best man at his wedding. Taking the advice from his family, and a little tutoring from his gay brother Robbie (Andy Samberg in a hilarious supporting role), Peter initiates several awkward and highly unsuccessful “man dates” in an attempt to find a worthy friend. On the verge of giving up, Klaven randomly meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), a brazenly straight-forward, recklessly carefree troublemaker, who oddly has quite a bit in common with Peter. As the two quickly bond, Peter’s relationship with Zooey becomes strained, forcing him to determine if his newfound friend’s audacious attitude is actually ruining his chance at finding true happiness.
An initial influx of crude sexual jokes gets things started in the routine humor of “I Love You, Man.” Parents openly talking dirty, spontaneous vomiting in the faces of others, fart analysis, and a dog relieving itself, follow up for more laughs – and sadly, but understandably, receive them. The foul-mouthed, unrefined vulgarity is constant and expected, and seems to always get a rise from the audience. Since it never goes beyond that, those looking for remnants of intelligent humor or hilarious setups will be left disappointed. It’s a raunchy comedy, seeking out the easy laughs based on increasing levels of obnoxiousness – and it never pretends to be anything else.
At least the premise is refreshing, twisting around the idea of a man in search of a significant other. Peter isn’t trying to get laid, hook up with the hot chick, lose his virginity, or exploit any of the other numerous cliché plots in comparable adult comedies. It’s most amusing to see that acquiring a male platonic friend is the more formidable game. In his quest, many running jokes are reused to the point of detestable – it’s a run-of-the-mill approach to what started as an original angle. The follow-through leaves much to be desired as the male bonding becomes overpowering, the dialogue is a bit too silly (“frosty-haired chode”), key points parallel the weepiest chick flicks, and the plot progression never ventures far from completely predictable.
– The Massie Twins