Combustible Celluloid
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With: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Jaime Pressly, Jon Favreau, Sarah Burns, Jane Curtin, J.K. Simmons, Andy Samberg
Written by: John Hamburg, Larry Levin, based on a story by Larry Levin
Directed by: John Hamburg
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references
Running Time: 104
Date: 03/20/2009

I Love You, Man (2009)

3 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Sure to become the seminal title in the newly dubbed "bromance" subgenre, I Love You, Man has a nice, laid-back vibe. Nothing much is ever really at stake, and though it's never really hysterical, it's pretty much constantly amusing. Paul Rudd plays Peter Klaven, a Los Angeles real estate man who will get his big break if he can manage to sell Lou Ferrigno's mansion. He has always been more comfortable in female company and has enjoyed a series of girlfriends before deciding to get married, to the cute Zooey (Rashida Jones). The catch is that Zooey slowly realizes that Peter really has no close male friends, and certainly no one who can really be his best man. Peter tries a series of "man dates" with no success, but when he runs into Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) at an open house, the two click and become fast friends. Dramatic upheavals come when Zooey complains that the boys are spending too much time together, and the new friends fight just before the wedding. Thankfully, there's no stupid romcom duplicity or situations; the humor springs naturally from the characters and their behavior. Rudd is especially funny while awkwardly trying and failing to come up with male "shorthand" in his conversations. A great supporting cast rounds things out, including J.K. Simmons, Sarah Burns, Jaime Pressly, Jon Favreau, Jane Curtin and Andy Samberg. John Hamburg directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Larry Levin, and believe it or not, Judd Apatow is not credited anywhere.

DVD Details: Paramount released the 2009 DVD, and amazingly, it does not come with an "unrated" version; apparently the filmmakers were happy with what they turned in, and well they should have been. Extras include deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, a making-of featurette, trailers and a commentary track with the director and the two stars.

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