Old 10-15-2009, 07:10 PM
I Love You, Man

(John Hamburg, 2009)

It's official: Paul Rudd is the funniest actor working in movies today. He carries with him such a unique screen presence and charisma that it's simply incomparable to any performer today. In recent years, he has become a veteran of the Apatow-style R-rated comedy films, and often manages to steal scenes from the likes of Will Farrell, Steve Carell, Seth Rogen and others. It was only recently, though, that he "graduated" from scene-stealing supporting roles to leads, and the results are simply fantastic. Interestingly, his two latest leading roles were in films that were Apatowian in spirit but technically not produced by him, and it is in these films Role Models and the more recent I Love You, Man, that he really shines.

After introducing Paul Rudd, I want to take this opportunity to introduce another term that has come to prominence recently: "bromance" or more accurately, the "bromantic comedy". This is essentially a film about two guys bonding in which the female characters support from the side and the platonic relationship between the male protagonists is central. In discussions of this sub-genre, many pundits go back and try to label classic films as "bromances", from the "buddy cop" films of the 80's and 90's and through to Apatow's earlier productions. I think that this discussion is quite ridiculous, because while many of these films may feature "bromances", i.e. bonding relationships between two male characters, I Love You, Man is unique in that it is literally a "bromantic comedy": the characters meet, have a rocky start, hit it off, enjoy each-other until they become overbearing, have their third-act slump, say that they "think they should stop seeing each other" and, of course, end up resolving everything and making up (at a wedding, no less). It's the classic romantic comedy formula, except it depicts the platonic friendship between two male characters, and it does so wonderfully.

Paul Rudd gets (and deserves) all the praise in the world for his turn in the film, but one mustn't neglect the other actors, especially his co-star Jason Seel, who was also a background performer in various Apatow films until he rose to prominence thanks to his lead role in last year's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Paul Rudd had a brilliant supporting role in that film as well, and I think it's interesting to note the role reversal these two actors pull off this time around. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Segel played a neurotic, shy, awkward wreck of a man while Rudd played a laid-back, pot-smoking surfer dude; this time around, Rudd is the neurotic, shy awkward wreck while Segel is the laid-back, easy-going "living life" dude. I think it's a testament to these actors' talents that they can do both, and it's perfect proof that they aren't one-note as they are often accused of being.

Eventually, as it is with other recent similarly-styled films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall or Knocked Up, the plot is quite irrelevant and what is important are the characters, and even more so, the comedy. And this film doesn't disappoint in that department; the banter between the characters is absolutely hilarious, their often ad-libbed gags are brilliant, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone play awkward quite as well as Rudd in this film.

RATING: 7.5/10.
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Old 10-17-2009, 02:40 AM
I also enjoyed the movie. I thought Rudd and Segel made a good leading "couple" and I liked how the story is basically poking fun at romantic comedies . . . as you better explained it, Monotreme. The movie's a bit predictable, as most rom coms are, but the story and the characters make it work.

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Old 10-20-2009, 04:26 PM
I really like I Love You, Man and we all seem to be in agreement that it's a 7/10 flick (though I tend to not scale movies that often). It's an above average comedy with great chemistry and humor between the two main male leads.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:12 PM
I wanted to love this movie. I couldn't even muster a chuckle. I love Rudd. I love Segal. Makes me sad that I couldn't get into it.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:41 PM
Originally Posted by JohnDRobinson View Post
I wanted to love this movie. I couldn't even muster a chuckle. I love Rudd. I love Segal. Makes me sad that I couldn't get into it.
No even "slappin' da bass, man"?
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:09 AM
Originally Posted by FireCaptain4 View Post
No even "slappin' da bass, man"?
"See you, Jobin!"
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