Cast: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones,
Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, Jon Favreau, Jaime
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: NC-16 (Sexual References)
Official Website: http://www.iloveyouman.com/
Opening Day: 18 June 2009
In "I Love You, Man," a comedy from John Hamburg ("Along Came Polly," co-writer of "Meet the Parents," "Meet the Fockers," "Zoolander"), Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd, "Knocked Up" "The 40 Year Old Virgin") is a successful real estate agent who, upon getting engaged to the woman of his dreams, Zooey ("The Office's" Rashida Jones), discovers, to his dismay and chagrin, that he has no male friend close enough to serve as his Best Man. Peter immediately sets out to rectify the situation, embarking on a series of bizarre and awkward "man-dates," before meeting Sydney Fife (Jason Segel, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"), a charming, opinionated man with whom he instantly bonds. But the closer the two men get, the more Peter's relationship with Zooey suffers, ultimately forcing him to choose between his fiancee and his new found "bro," in a story that comically explores what it truly means to be a "friend."
Every time this reviewer attends a wedding dinner, he would be awed by the spectacle of the joyous event and begin wondering: Who would he invite to him own wedding? What music would he choose to play when he and the girl of his dreams walk down the aisle? How would the obligatory wedding video montage look like? Yes, these are the kind of questions (if you really had to, you would call them inconsequential) which bug him while the dishes are being served. And with this John Hamburg (Along Came Polly) directed movie, he has another question to answer before that big day comes – who will be his best man at his wedding?
You see, our hero in this movie is about to get married to the girl of his dreams (aren’t all brides to be “the girl of his dreams”, according to the groom?), and to his dismay and his err, mortification, he realises that he has no male friend close enough to serve as his best man at the wedding. In a move that will only happen in movies, he goes on a series of weird and embarrassing man dates – all to no avail. Then along comes this amiable and vocal guy whom he instantly bonds with. The two of them get really close (no thanks to their liking for music), and the relationship between our hero and his fiancée is suffers.
While this sounds like a potential melodrama with the bride to be crying how she lost the man of her dreams (see, it works the other way round too) to another man, be assured that it is a spot on comedy that will duly keep you engaged and entertained for 110 minutes.
The first thing that has it going for this picture is its two male leads. Paul Rudd (Role Models, Monsters vs. Aliens) finally gets his big break as a leading man after playing second fiddle in outrageously hilarious and successful comedies like Knocked Up (people fell in love with Seth Rogen there) and The 40 Year Old Virgin (who can forget Steve Carell and his chest full of hair in this one?). Rudd’s very likeable screen persona is evident in his portrayal of a man who finds the true meaning of friendship through the process of finding a true guy friend. Playing his potential best man is Jason Segel (who can forget his naked passion in Forgetting Sarah Marshall?), whose gigantic stature plays out nicely against Rudd’s smaller frame. His fast shooting motor mouth provides some of the movie’s best lines, which also earned it a NC 16 (Sexual References) rating from our friends at the censorship board. You’ve got to hear them to be in love with the script’s humour.
It is no wonder then, that Hamburg is one of the screenplay writers, the brain behind similar comedies like Meet The Parents (2000), Zoolander (2001) and Meet The Fockers (2004). The hilarity of the screenplay is the other thing that makes this otherwise simple story a winner. Complementing the performances of the cast members, the crisp writing of the dialogues make seemingly uncomplicated everyday situations light up with freshness. The results are countless laugh out loud moments without cheapening the jokes.
Sure, this may be one comedy which is made with a ploy to milk money from dating couples who want a fun night out at the movies – but who doesn’t love an uproarious and refreshing take on friendship and marriage? For this reviewer, no matter how far that big day is, he realises it’s time to start searching… for a true friend in a… male pal.
(A pleasant comedy for man-woman dates, as well as err, man-man dates)
Review by John Li