Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Love You Man (2009)

Movie quotes:
Peter: So what do I do? How do I make friends?
Robbie: If you see a cool looking guy, strike up a conversation and ask him on a man date.
Peter: Ok.
Robbie: You know what I mean?
Peter: No.
Robbie: Casual lunch or after work drinks. You're not taking these boys to see The Devil Wears Prada.
Peter: Oh god, I love that movie. No I won’t.

Man at Open House: [after trying to discretely fart] I like it, but I'm not sure about the space.  I'm thinking it might be a little bit small.
Sydney: Totally, and it smells like fart.

At a glance:
Paul Rudd is funny, likeable, and believable as the quintessential "girlfriend’s boyfriend’ who undergoes a freedom of inhibitions when he bonds with a male free spirit played by Jason Segel

Our review (with spoilers):
Like most men, Peter (Paul Rudd) is thrilled to have found the love of his life, but unlike most other men, he doesn’t seem to be feeling the least bit of trepidation about his impending loss of freedom. And also unlike other men, he doesn’t have any male friends. Peter is the quintessential boyfriend, always devoting his time to making life good for his fiancée Zooey (Rashida Jones) and her friends. He’s a lover of chick flicks like The Devil Wears Prada, he doesn’t crave a night out with the guys playing poker and vomiting, and he’s not averse to treating his girlfriend’s hens to a round of root beer floats garnished with Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes chocolate straws.

After a humorous and fruitless search for male companionship on a series of ‘man dates’, many sponsored by his gay brother and misguided mother, Peter finally happens across someone he can bond with: easygoing free spirit Sydney (Jason Segel). Anchored by their shared acquired passion for the rock band Rush, they become such good friends and frequent companions that their relationship begins to crack seams in the bond between Peter and Zooey.

I Love You Man is a very funny movie (especially before it turns a bit maudlin and contrived in the final third). It also had its humorous base in truth; much of Peter’s pre-Sydney situations reminded my very much of my own life.

Although the basic bones of I Love You Man is a tried and true clichéd friendship/redemption story, there are enough funny and original lines that it’s still a rewarding journey. In fact, this works both ways: fans of easy to access happy endings will like it, those who crave originality will like it, and there’s even a fair bit of gross-out humor thrown in to please every taste.

Rating:  2.75 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"A blokey comedy that ironically doubles as a good date movie, I Love You, Man is funny nonsense that just drops short of fulfilling its ripping premise."
- Shannon J. Harvey (Sunday Times [Australia]

"Starting with a pretty funny script, writer-director Hamburg lets his cast have a free hand with their characters, and the improvisational atmosphere is what makes this male-bonding comedy thoroughly engaging."
- Rich Cline (Shadows on the Wall)

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