Monday, March 30, 2009

I Love You, Man

Judd Apatow has had something to do with most major comedies since his 40-Year-Old Virgin was released it 2005. Which is interesting given that I Love You, Man is a great comedy that Apatow had absolutely nothing to do with.

I Love You, Man is a prototype of a film in the Apatow era. Paul Rudd, in his best comedy performance to date, thankfully deviates from his rambling smartass to give us Peter; a sweet, sensitive guy happily devoted to his finance, Zooey (Rashida Jones).

But a problem soon emerges: Peter has no male friends to speak of, no best man to accompany him at the alter. Cue the man-date montage. After several hilarious occasions with a variety of losers (some gay, some squeaky voiced), he finds Sydney (Jason Segel). Sydney waffles through life with a carefree air. He’s Peter’s polar opposite. The two bond over tacos and beer, a fascination with the band Rush, and other amusing male pastimes. Of course, second act problems ensue, but they play runner-up to the smart humor.

Plot for these movies isn’t really the point, right? You care more about the cheeky one-liners and fart jokes (of which there are a few). So don’t worry, I Love You, Man is full of subtle comedy, and (big shocker) it’s fun for you and your date.

Criticism for Apatow’s comedies is usually that they are crude and chauvinistic. Basically, the male counter point to the chick-flick. I Love You, Man couldn’t be more different. Sure, the male buddy film won’t immediately attract females, but this is the perfect date movie. Most women will find it easy to relate to Peter. Also, the supporting female characters are written rather well. Jamie Pressly, as Zooey’s best friend, is fantastic. Her riffs with her husband (played with brute force by Jon Favreau) are the film’s comedic highlights.

Other supporting bits include hilarious turns by J.K. Simmons, Andy Samberg and Lou “The Hulk” Ferrigno. So if you want to ditch the raunch and get a solid does of intelligent humor, I Love You, Man will work for you. B

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