Paul Rudd and Jason Segel star in this solid comedy that is fairly original but lacks something that puts it into that upper pantheon of comedies over the last few years.
Peter Klaven (Rudd) has just got engaged to Zooey (Rashida Jones) when it dawns upon the couple that Peter doesn’t really have a candidate for best man. Labeled as a girlfriend guy by his gay brother Robby (Andy Samberg) Peter, Zooey, Robby, and family decide to set out and get Peter and best man by the wedding day. While Robby tries to teach Peter the art of “meeting” a guy, Peter’s mom tries and set him up on man dates, and Zooey tries and integrates Peter into her friend’s (Jamie Pressly) husband’s (Jon Favreau) circle of friends. And well, things don’t go as smoothly as one would have hoped. Then at Peter’s big home showcase, he is selling Lou Ferrigino’s house, he has an encounter with Sydney (Segel) an eccentric rich divorcee hunter that hops from open house to open house trying to find someone to take home. The two click and they eventually meet up and have a pretty fine time together as a potential ‘romance’ begins to take shape. How this new found male companionship will affect his life and that with those around him is yet to be seen but on his quest to discover a best friend things couldn’t possibly start off better.
The film at first will have you wondering what is going to make this picture standout from any normal comedy fare as the jokes are pretty lame, unoriginal, and to punchliney. But once the courting process starts the movie begins to flesh out and the comedy becomes far more character driven; especially once Segel shows up. The films pacing is solid and keeps you laughing from when things get rolling till the end. The humor in the film is also some of the best awkwardness I have seen in a while, as Paul Rudd stumbles through trying to be a ‘guy’ friend. There is also a good number of obscure pop-culture reference that I enjoyed but the improvisation seems to be a bit less then these actors previous/recent films; but its still pretty funny, so that’s ok. The movie also does fall into formula a bit at the very end, which was a bit disappointing, but there a few zigs that you think will zag that will keep you on your toes and keep things fresh most of the time.
The actors in the film help carry the weight of any of the generic material in the end. Jon Favreau is great as a dickhead husband of Jamie Pressly’s character and I wish he would do more acting kids, as he is routinely great. Jamie Pressly also creates a fun and bitchish character as well, but is somehow still likeable. Rashida Jones is adequate yet nothing special, though she is pretty much a supporting player. Paul Rudd is great as usual, and he shines throughout setting new levels of awkward interactions in film to be topped. I also don’t think it is possible for Rudd to be bad at anything anymore, he is beyond amazing. Jason Segel takes his second leading role and continues to new found success as a future major movie star. As soon as he is done with How I Met Your Mother, he is going to be making two to three major comedies a year, and it is going to be great!
In the end, I Love You Man is a solid comedy to start off the year. I imagine there will be a few that outshine this one as the year goes on, but it is a good start to the comedy year. Fans of Rudd and Segel will be in heaven as they continue to shine and be a blast to watch and a supporting cast that does a great job of keeping up with the two leads. A bit uneven in being a bit stereotypical for a bit, but mostly fresh, holds this back in the end, but not by much as it is more than worth your time at the theater.