There are plenty of comedies about someone looking for love, but I Love You, Man is a comedy about a man looking for a bud. In the spirit of many Judd Apatow comedies, this movie combines crude language and sight gags with a lot of heart.

Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) just got engaged to Zooey (Rashida Jones) and things are going great -- until he overhears his fiancee talking with her friends Hailey (Sarah Burns) and Denise (Jamie Pressley) and Peter realizes he has no male friends. Peter is a bit of a nerd, and he's adored by just about every woman he knows while having no guy buddies. This is confirmed by his family: his crude father Oswald (J.K. Simmons), his sweet mom Joyce (Jane Curtin), and his fully confident gay brother Robbie (Andy Samberg, in a great supporting role). Soon family and friends are setting Peter up on "man dates," ranging from Denise's irritable husband Barry (Jon Favreau) to Doug (Thomas Lennon), who thinks they're on a real date.

Then, while trying to sell Lou Ferrgno's house, Peter meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel). Sydney is the opposite of Peter -- outspoken, obnoxious, sometimes a free spirit, sometimes seemingly in a state of protacted adolescence -- and soon the two are best friends, with Peter considering asking Sydney to be the best man at his wedding. But all the Rush musical covers and long lunches soon start to affect Peter's relationship with Zooey.

I Love You, Man is an often tasteless comedy that still manages to be sweet. There's lots of profanity (and what may be the most tasteless engagement toast in all of cinema), but most of the humor comes more from Peter's nerdiness than from gross-out gags. And while this is very much a guy movie, the female characters are fully developed and have as much depth as the men. Rashida Jones makes Zooey a strong character who loves her man but doesn't do whatever he wants. Rudd plays (and occasionally overplays) Peter's awkwardness, including several lousy tries to come up with a cool nickname and awful foreign accents. And Segel continues his great comic tradition as the absolute foil to Peter -- who still makes their friendship believable.

I Love You, Man isn't hysterical, but it provides plenty of laughs and a nice look into the workings of the male mind. This is a very enjoyable comey, good to see either with a date or a buddy.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: