I Love You, Man (2009)

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One of the most talked about comedies of the year is the perfect definition of “bromance”, where it involves two guys just getting to be best friends with absolutely no romantic agenda between them whatsoever, triggered by the performances of the two leads.

Peter Klaven is a realtor who has just been engaged to his girlfriend of eight months, Zooey Rice. However, there does pose one little problem. Peter has never really had any male friends. He is a more of a “girl friend” type of guy. His friends have mostly been female and despite talking to the likes of some guys at his fencing practice and a co-worker, Peter’s never had a best man friend.

Enter investment banker Sydney Fife, who meets Peter at an open house. The two soon hit it off and it is not long before Peter comes out of his shell. For the first time in his life, Peter feels comfortable having a male best friend. He soon relives some of his past, by playing the bass guitar, as well as enjoying his time with Sydney. However, as the wedding is coming closer, Peter may begin to feel his new “relationship” may become an obstacle to his relationship with Zooey. Will Peter have to eventually choose between Sydney or Zooey?

In the wake of comedies such as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the laughs keep on coming with this “bromantic comedy”. Directed and co-written by John Hamburg, this is a very funny film thanks to the performances of lead actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. Rudd, who is making a huge name for himself thank to his recent performances in Apatow’s films, plays it off really well as the “lonely” Peter. We even learn about his family, with great performances from Jane Curtin and J.K. Simmons as his parents and the funny Andy Samberg as his gay brother, Ronnie.

Segel, fresh off his lead role stint in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and his role on the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother, brings it as the soon-to be best friend of Peter, who helps him get out of his shell. While Rudd plays Peter as a shy realtor who seems to have a somewhat dull life with the exception of his existence with his fiancée, Segel is the over the top wild party guy who loves to have fun and hang out. While the film tackles the subject of “bromance”, the classic romantic comedy theme of “opposites attracting” comes full force here.

Even driving the film is the relationship between a couple close to Zooey and not so much Peter, as played by Jaime Pressly and Jon Favreau. The two are constantly bickering, more notably Favreau, whose performance here is reminiscent of his insane performance of the football comedy The Replacements. It seems like Favreau can be the “go-to” guy at times and it still works here with his supporting role.

What helps drives the film are two running jokes that exist throughout the course of the film. The first involves Peter. Whenever he attempts to do any sort of impersonation or voice, he is constantly referred to as imitating a leprechaun. The second involves former bodybuilding champion turned actor Lou Ferrigno, best known as the man who played the Marvel superhero The Incredible Hulk on the series that ran from 1978 to 1982. Ferrigno, who plays himself here, as Peter is attempting to sell his house, is constantly referred to as “Hulk”. In one scene, Peter explains to Zooey that Lou isn’t the Hulk in real-life but a sweet guy, much like the Hulk’s alter ego Bruce Banner.

The film also has an appearance from Rush, one of the most popular rock bands to come out of Canada. Much in the sense that Adam Sandler’s film Big Daddy popularized the music of American rock band Styx and Muriel’s Wedding and Mamma Mia driving the music of 1970’s Swedish music icons ABBA, this film drives the music of Rush. Peter and Sydney jam and rock out to two of Rush’s most popular tunes from their 1981 monster album Moving Pictures, “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight”. It may sound bias, but as a Rush fan, their music helps drive the film.

I Love You, Man, despite its somewhat awkward title, is definitely one for the guys. The performances of the cast, the running jokes, and the music of Rush help make this one a definite must-see “bromantic comedy”.

WFG RATING: A+

DreamWorks Pictures presents a De Line Pictures production in association with Bernard Gayle Productions and the Montecito Picture Compnay. Director: John Hamburg. Producers: Donald De Line and John Hamburg. Writers: John Hamburg and Larry Levin. Cinematography: Lawrence Sher. Editing: William Kerr.

Cast: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Rob Huebel, Jamie Pressly, Jon Favreau, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, Rob Huebel, Lou Ferrigno, Thomas Lennon, Nick Kroll, Aziz Ansari, David Krumholtz.

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