I Love You, Man features Paul Rudd as Peter Klaven, a sorry sap of a real estate agent who realizes after proposing to his girlfriend (Rashida Jones) that he literally has no male friends to call on to be best man in his impending wedding. After a number of unsuccessful and hilarious “man dates,” he meets Sydney Fife, played by Jason Segel, and the two hit it off immediately. Klaven, just a few months away from his wedding, only has a short time to determine whether Fife is really “the one.”
I Love You, Man is an uproariously funny bromantic comedy. It follows nearly every convention of a romantic comedy, making the basic storyline predictable and formulaic, only instead of comically telling the story of a budding romance, it hilariously tells the story of a budding “bromance” between two everyday dudes.
Luckily, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, who are excellent in their roles as Klaven and Fife, play those two everyday dudes. Rudd plays a much different character here than in his other recent films, and it’s refreshing to watch him act outside his box. Segel, who only recently broke into mainstream Hollywood, is hilarious and honest. After seeing this movie, you’ll wish you had a friend like Fife.
But what really separates I Love You, Man from the countless other Judd Apatow-laced comedies flooding the screen these days is its stellar supporting cast. Rashida Jones is perpetually lovable as Klaven’s fiancé, Zooey; a role that would absolutely have ruined the film were the character even the least bit unlikable. Jaime Pressley and Sarah Burns are also great as Zooey’s close friends and business partners. Even Iron Man director Jon Favreau brings the funny home as the insufferable Barry.
Some of the movie’s funniest moments, however, come from Robbie (SNL’s Andy Samberg), Peter’s gay younger brother. His earnest desire to find his brother a suitable man-friend is responsible for a lot of the film’s best jokes, and his gym trainer masculinity serves as an ironically perfect counterpoint to its constant homosexual overtones. And while I’m on the topic (but without spoiling anything), Reno 911’s Thomas Lennon as Doug is definitely something you won’t want to miss.
The Verdict: I Love You, Man is a downright hilarious film that, without its impressive cast, might have been nothing more than a predictable and formulaic comedy with a slight twist. The characters are likable and unlikable in all the right places, and with such a large number of them (I didn’t even have time to mention how great J.K Simmons, Rob Huebel, or Lou Ferrigno are), that’s no small feat. Most importantly, however, Klaven and Fife’s developing friendship is entirely believable thanks to Rudd and Segel. That’s where I Love You, Man really finds its heart.
3.5 stars (out of 4)