Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Love You, Man

Heading into my umpteenth Judd Apatowesque film, I assumed that I knew what to expect: a fun, lighthearted story that hits a major obstacle that leaves the main character brokenhearted, only for everything to be conveniently fixed 15 minutes before the end of the show. Oh, and throw in as much raunchy and crude material as possible. And yes, these movies are starting to lose their appeal. But every time a new one appears, I feel myself being inexplicably drawn to the theater.

Fortunately, I Love You, Man was a little more lighthearted and not as crude, making it more enjoyable than a bunch of sex-innuendo. Friendless Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is pressed hard by his wife-to-be to find a 'BFF' to serve as his best man. However, Klaven's complete social ineptness makes every man-date a complete disaster, including a drinking game gone completely wrong. But after meeting Sydney Fife (Jason Segal), things seem to take a turn for the best. Several terrible nickname attempts and Rush jam sessions later, Klaven seems to have found his best man. But when Klaven's fiancée Zooey (Rashida Jones) feels neglected from all the time the two guys spend together, it becomes a choice between two different partnerships. Moviegoers shouldn't fret, however, because it's quite obvious where the plot is going.

Rudd and Segal work terrific together. Despite a cookie cutter storyline, these two are so talented that they are able to remain hilarious and human at the same time. Segal seems to brighten up the screen no matter what he does. His portrayal of Sydney Fife depicts everything a guy would love to have in a friend, if not themselves. Rudd uses impeccable timing to make himself incredibly awkward, much to the delight of the audience. The best moments revolve around him trying unbelievably hard to appear loose and casual. Adding in a brilliant supporting cast doesn't hurt either. J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, and Andy Samberg make up Klaven's family and Jon Favreau and Jamie Pressly serve as a scene stealing couple from hell.

Overall, this movie is simply funny, regardless of the predictable plot line. Yes, it does have its share of stupid gross-out jokes, which is a staple of any movie in this genre. But more importantly, the movie produces comedy in a wholesome way, in its observations, dialogue and physical behavior. Rudd and Segal were able to make their audience laugh from beginning to end, which is what comedies are for. It is the bromance to end all bromances. As Klaven said of having Fife as his best friend, "it's sweet, sweet hanging." The same goes for this movie.