I Love You, Man
The idea of "bro-mance," a platonic relationship between male friends, is an idea that a lot of films have been dancing around recently, but has never quite so fully been explored since I Love You, Man. To be fair, a bro-mance usually forms the core of every film targeted to the male demographic. The buddy cop formula, the sex comedy, the war epic, many films of these disparate genres get their legs from something as simple as a friendship. This is why I personally find it peculiar that only now has a deconstruction of that device been offered, and by means of an uplifting comedy no less.
I Love You, Man is a romantic comedy of a peculiar stripe in that the key romance is not the relationship between star-crossed young lovers of opposite genders and hetero-sexual orientation, but the relationship between a newly engaged man (Paul Rudd) and the Best Man (Jason Segel) he's looking for. During his youth, Peter Klaven was pursuing women so much that he grew up without a best (guy) friend and, as a result, without the sort of timeless and endearing bond that permanently attaches two close pals together. Now that he's engaged to be married to the love of his life, Zooey (Rashida Jones), he discovers that the parties will be noticeably uneven on the day of the wedding. And so Peter embarks on a quest to make friends in what is both charming and funny, while at the same time being the only instance for years to come in which a comedy like this can ever possibly work (I couldn't help but feel that there was an amazing race between Hollywood studios in order to discover and market this long dormant diamond).
A mainstream bro-mantic comedy is nothing new, but understand that this is the first time a movie has ever flown exclusively under this label. Most other comedies like Superbad and The 40 Year-Old Virgin have used the idea of bro-mance to add an extra layer of depth to the proceedings, but they could still stand on their own without that added element. Take away I Love You, Man's bro-mance, and you destroy the film altogether.
I am programmed to like any movie that features an affinity for Rush in any capacity.
This means that Adventureland will probably get an easy pass too.
Much of I Love You, Man's humour comes from the way the film subversively mocks the common romantic comedy. Instead of the male lead stuttering and mumbling his way through conversations with the female object of his affection, it's the male lead stuttering and mumbling his way through asking his new buddy if he wants to grab a beer. There's no doubt that it's a refreshing and novel take on tired old conventions, but it all too quickly becomes the only original joke in the film's repertoire. The rest of the humour is the typical Judd Apatow method of finding comedic gold in daily interaction; in fact director John Hamburg effectively masters this technique in absence of Judd Apatow to be seen in any credit whatsoever. The tragedy is that I Love You, Man takes its fresh idea, and pummels it into the ground before anyone else can get a shot at it.
The performances in I Love You, Man are, for lack of a better word, perfect. They aren't Oscar winners by any means, but it's hard to imagine anyone else providing a better fit than the people involved. The only folly is J.K. Simmon's unfortunate lack of screen time because he is absolutely brilliant every time he's on camera. I never in a million years would have thought I'd be saying this, but there should've been more Andy Samberg too.
I Love You, Man isn't uproariously funny, but it's still a good time and the type of film that people will inevitably file alongside the likes Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Knocked Up.
Note: I promise never to use the words "bro-mance", "bro-mantic", or any such word ever again.
Note 2: For those who may care, BioShock Part 4 is tentatively scheduled for Monday March 30th.
really look forward to watching this movie. I was suprised that Apatow wasnt a part of this movie, but Im just too much of a fan of the actors to deny watching this. The only thing that would have made me jump out of my seat and see this now is if the above picture was one of Segel on the drums (I fucking love Freaks and Geeks).
PS: Its Jason Segel, not Peter.
PS: Its Jason Segel, not Peter.
Fixed. It probably would've slipped my mind forever if you hadn't pointed it out, so thanks :).
Nice review. This movie looked pretty funny, I may go catch a cheap matinee sometime.
i saw this movie on the night it came out. everyone in the movie theater laughed hard than my friends (who were mexicans)
This was a pretty funny movie...not TOO funny but still funny
Role Models is better