I Love You, Man
It takes a bold set of filmmakers these days to release a big-budget comedy at the beginning of the summer when Judd Apatow’s name isn’t attached to the project at all. If you check his imdb page here, you’ll see that he is in some way responsible for most of the blockbuster comedies that have hit our theaters in the last few years. But I Love You, Man boldly puts itself out there for all to see, proud of the fact that despite being clearly influenced by that whole clan, that it can stand alone from the Apatow name. However, if you look close enough, you can see that writer/director John Hamburg has worked with Apatow before on the TV show Undeclared. Hamburg, who co-wrote the film with Larry Levin (Dr. Dolittle, Dr. Dolittle 2), has a few films under his belt, the last one being the mess of a Ben Stiller film Along Came Polly, but we’ll forgive him that one since I Love You, Man sort of makes up for it.
The plot isn’t that interesting. You get all the major plot points if you’ve seen the trailer, and any romantic comedy of the last thirty years. Peter Klavin (Paul Rudd) is a moderately successful Realtor in southern California, engaged to Zooey (Rashida Jones). She becomes increasingly concerned that Peter’s side of the wedding party will be lopsided. You see, Peter mostly hung out with girls, so he doesn’t have a best friend, or really any guy friends. In steps the crazy-ass Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) who turns Peter’s world upside down with his I-don’t-care-what-society-thinks attitude, and his love of wearing socks with his Ugg boots and walking his dog on the beach. The two become close, very close, but then Zooey starts to feel neglected. You can see where I’m going with this.
The goods come from Rudd’s and Segel’s hilarious performances, their ability to deliver lines like no one else. Unfortunately, their characters are often bogged down because of the by-the-book formula that never deviates from the ordinary. Things get especially tedious when the story focuses on Peter and Zooey’s relationship. Blah. There are some fantastic peripheral characters, like Jamie Presley, playing Zooey’s bitchy best friend who’s married to the biggest douche in the world (played with ease by Jon Favreau, he didn’t even need to act…), and Thomas Lennon who plays Peter’s unintentional gay love-interest. The film provides a decent amount of laughs (a lot of them if you like potty humor) even if they are conventional, and who could help themselves when it’s Paul Rudd and Jason Segel?