I Love You, Man - Review
Review by Jack Foley
PAUL Rudd and Jason Segel have shared screen-time, albeit fleetingly, in both Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, during which they’ve hinted at the makings of a glorious comic partnership.
But now that they get to hang out properly in a whole movie together, they confirm that they do indeed make for a perfect partnership.
I Love You, Man offers a fun showcase of the duo’s respective talents and both actors grasp the opportunity with both hands.
Rudd underlines his leading man credentials following a similarly successful pairing with Seann William Scott in this year’s Role Models, while Segel looks more at ease with a co-star of equal standing, rather than shouldering the bulk of the acting, a la Sarah Marshall.
The overall result is a hugely engaging and frequently hilarious buddy comedy that’s, by turns, rude and sweet-natured and a great form of escapism.
When struggling estate agent Peter (Rudd) gets engaged to the beautiful Zooey (Rashida Jones), he suddenly realises that he has no one to stand as his best man. He subsequently sets up a series of disastrous man-dates in a bid to find one, until he meets the fun-loving Sydney (Segel), a free spirit whose carefree existence soon poses problems for Peter’s impending nuptials.
As with most comedies, there’s a lot that doesn’t work and some of the humour may prove a little too crude and Judd Apatow-esque for the more conservative viewer.
But in the main this is effortlessly crowd-pleasing stuff that boasts two stand-out central performances from Segel and Rudd, as well as a handful of great supporting ones from the likes of Jon Favreau (as a surly husband who hates Peter), Jaime Pressly (as a close friend of Zooey’s) and JK Simmons (as Peter’s dad).
The gags err on the side of uncomfortable situation comedy rather than big set piece moments, but this works in its favour too, allowing Rudd and Segel the chance to verbally spar with each other as they overcome their insecurities to form their unlikely friendship.
But there’s interesting insights into man caves and slapping the bass that are genuinely inventive for this type of deal, while writer-director John Hamburg (of Along Came Polly fame) ensures that there’s enough heart to offset some of the more mean-spirited material.
All in all, it’s hard not to proclaim undying love for this crowd-pleasing ‘bro-mance’.
Running time: 104mins
UK Release Date: April 17, 2009
- Read our review
- Paul Rudd and Jason Segel interview
- John Hamburg interview
- I Love You, Man Photo Gallery
- Watch the trailer