In "I Love You, Man," a comedy from John Hamburg, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a successful real estate agent who, upon getting engaged to the woman of his dreams, Zooey, (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), 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.
At once sweet, genuinely funny, and painfully awkward, I Love You, Man is that type of film that used to feel like a rare event, but these days is a lot more common thanks to Judd Apatow’s new hit factory. His stock ensemble of actors, writers, and directors have managed to hone in on the perfect formula of raunchy and sweet.Apatow wasn't involved in this production, but his mark is all over it just the same.Paul Rudd has to be the most infinitely likeable man in Hollywood; he manages to capture the ideal blend of sincerity and awkwardness but never comes off as annoying.As Sidney, Jason Segal departs from the neurotic and insecure roles that have nearly made him a household name in Freaks and Geeks and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.He channels instead the endearingly arrogant and emotionally stunted man-boy who is both life of the party and sad clown.The story is pretty simple--making friends tends to get more and more challenging as we get older and more settled into our lives.That's never been truer than for Peter Klaven, a so-called "Girlfriend Guy" who's never really had a best guy friend.As Peter begins to plan the rest of his life with the girl of his dreams (Parks and Recreation's Rashida Jones), the pressure to find a best man and not feel like a friendless freak becomes more intense.Enter Sidney, a Venice Beach-dwelling, super-laid-back, Rush-loving, vaguely employed (but clearly successful) financial planner with no desire to commit, a room in his house dedicated to all things masculine and an intense desire to have a good time as often as possible.Soul mates, right?As directed by John Hamburg (Along Came Polly, Stella), I Love You, Man is consistently funny and totally relatable.With strong supporting performances from Jones, Andy Samberg, Jon Favreau, Jamie Pressely, and even Lou Ferrigno (!), I Love You, Man is a little less raunch and a lot more sweet than some of this crew's other hits, with quite a few laugh-out-loud moments.–Kira Canny
Stills from I Love You, Man (Click for larger image)
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