Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) isn’t gay. At least not in the classic sense. That sense being a man who has sex with other men since Peter is engaged to the completely hot and lovely Zooey played by Rashida Jones. Not that this has anything to do with anything but if one of my boys had told me they’d just met a woman named Rashida Jones, I would’ve bet my last bottom dollar that this woman would’ve been a sista (uh, Chris, she's Quincy Jones Daughter). But back to Peter. So he’s not gay but he does fit the stereotype quite nicely with his neatness, sensitivity, his unique ability to relate to women and his inability to relate to men. This hasn’t been a problem for Peter, at least until now because it has dawned on him that he has no male friends to fill out his wedding party, in particular no Best Man. What’s an effeminate sissy with a sizzling hot girlfriend to do? Why get himself a man silly, and thus ‘I Love You Man’ is launched.

Peter’s odyssey to find himself ‘a man’ is spearheaded by his more masculine but authentically gay younger brother Robbie (Adam Sandberg) who has laid out a clear set of ground rules that must be observed when going out on a man-date, rules that Peter really should’ve followed more closely. After a couple of rather unfortunate man-dates Peter has all but given up on finding a buddy until our real-estate agent hero meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) at an open house he hosted for legendary strongman Lou Ferrigno’s palatial estate.

So the two exchange business cards, and though Peter is nervous at making first contact, he eventually does and a fast friendship is formed. Sydney is the anti-Peter in that he is a man’s man, has a great knowledge of sports, follows the long observed rules of recognizing the separation of the sexes - rules which Peter unabashedly violates every day, has a glorious man-cave completely off limits to women as any self-respecting man should possess, though we gotta admit that Sydney takes a few things in regards to his cave to the next level which I’m not completely comfortable

with, and is a lotta fun to be around. The one thing the pair do have in common is a mad love of the Canadian super group Rush. If Paul Rudd can seriously copy Geddy Lee’s riffs like his character was doing in this flick, then the man is even more awesome than I thought he was.

At first Zooey was happy that Peter had found a male friend but soon that joy turned into typical woman stuff as Peter starts spending more time with Sydney than he is spending with her. Worst still is that Sydney has started influencing Peter’s way of thinking which is having some serious repercussions in our couples relationship. Now Peter is in the unfortunate position of choosing between his new best friend and the woman he loves, and I’ve been calling that movie ‘Chocolate’ for the last ten years and I’ll be damned if anyone hears me say ‘shock-o-la’ even if it’s the correct pronunciation.

Okay, so I blew off the critics screening of this movie, as I’ve unfortunately been doing more of lately because I’m weary and tired but that’s another story. Then this thing is released to some rather rave reviews and now I’m pissed at myself for passing on a good movie due to laziness so I up and pay my heard earned money to watch this because lord knows I hate to miss a good movie. Well obviously I’m out of tune because though I did think ‘I Love You Man’ was okay, that’s all I thought it was. The movie was funny enough and it did have its inspired moments of hilarity here and there, but it wasn’t nearly as funny as I thought it would be, but then that’s probably due more to heightened expectations than the movie itself. I don’t have a particular list of favorite actors but if I did Paul Rudd and J.K. Simmons, who plays Peter’s old man, would certainly be on that list I don’t have, though I would’ve like to have seen director Paul Hamburg exploit Mr. Simmons rather dry and unique sense of comedic timing a bit more. Paul Rudd, as fully expected, effortlessly floats in and out of the variations of the same character he plays and is always enjoyable to watch. Jason Segal was fine as the hyper overtly male buddy, John Favreau and Jamie Pressley played a husband wife team that had an eerie resemblance to me an my wife for I can’t tell you how many times my wife has informed me I know somebody and I swear to you I’ve never met these people before. Plus it has the added benefit of allowing us to hear Limelight performed by Rush themselves, along with some bastardized version of Tom Sawyer which wasn’t nearly as bad as you would think it might be.

The thing is, and this is why there’s absolutely no future for me in this movie ‘criticism’ thing, is that I thought the roundly panned and vehemently avoided cheerleading comedy ‘Fired Up’ was way funnier than this. Released like a week apart from each other, I admit I didn’t expect much from ‘Fired Up’ but that movie had me in, and apparently only me, in stitches mainly because it was really out there with its attempts at humor. I don’t think that ‘I Love You Man’ wasn’t even nearly as funny as Rudd’s last comedy ‘Role Models’. ‘I Love You Man’ was quite simply a fairly routine RomCom with a great cast and some funny bits strewn across its running time. I suppose I could start lying and begin making up stuff about what I was supposed to see in a movie to fall more in line with the mainstream and look less like an idiot, but you know that’s just not gonna happen because looking like an idiot suits me.

Nonetheless ‘I Love You Man’ is a decent movie and definitely worth watching because of its nice cast and funny moments, it’s just not as funny as I hoped it would be. Whaddaygonnado?

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