I Love You, Man Reviews
Paul Rudd, arguably the finest straight man working in comedies today, plays Pete, a repressed and slightly wimpy fellow who has no 'guy friends. His new fiance, Zooey, Rashida Jones has decided that the one thing missing before the wedding is a friend/best man, and Rudd is thrown into the cruel world of modern male bonding to find a pal. Jason Segal, plays Sydney, his budding BFF, a unfiltered and painfully honest oddball. The film is all about their on again, off again, 'bromance'.
The bench strength in the cast is the movie's ace in the hole. Rudd's parents are played by the great Jane Curtin and J.K. Simmons, his gay yet masculine brother is played by Andy Samberg, and Jamie Pressly and Jon Favreau play Zooey's best friend and her blowhard poker playing husband. All get stuff to do, and make the material really sing. Rashida Jones is saddled with a generic nice girlfriend character, but infuses it with her unique warmth and offbeat energy, a wise casting decision for an underwritten role.
What is special about the film is its quiet empathy and acceptance of various lifestyles and its unwillingness to trade in stereotypes. When Rudd is 'fixed up' with a potential best friend (Thomas Lennon), his date misunderstands and believes they are on a romantic first date. The subsequent tongue kiss is hilarious and cringe worthy, but is not a condemnation or mockery of the love struck man. We feel empathy and humanity towards him not because he is ridiculous, but because the film is about all of our missed signals and romantic mistakes.
This is unmistakably a Hollywood comedy, not an offbeat indie quirkfest, but handled by wonderful cast and a solid, cliche busting script, it was really a pleasure.