Written and directed by John Hamburg (Meet the Parents, Zoolander) I Love You, Man is the uproarious story of Real Estate Agent Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) and his attempts to find a worthy enough friend amongst the slimy brethren of Los Angeles to bare the title of Best Man in his wedding to the woman of his dreams, Zooey Rice (Rashida Jones). Now, don't think that he is doing this because he wants to because he's not; Peter is perfectly fine having zero male friends. That's what he is used to in life suggests his father (J.K. Simmons) and mother (Jane Curtin) to Zooey one night over dinner. He just doesn't â"get" guys and guys find him too much of â"a nice guy" to be one of the brothers; however, that all changes when Peter realizes he has no candidates for Best Man. Upon overhearing a conversation Zooey's friends have about how weird it is that he doesn't have any male friends, Peter quickly embarks on an awkwardly funny series of â"man-dates" arranged by his gay brother (a subdued Andy Samburg) who schools him on what not to do in the hopes of securing a worthy candidate for Best Man. The hilarity continues as Peter, upset by the tongue lashing of his last man-date, tries to â"hang" with the husband of his girlfriend's friend. That couple hilariously played by Jaime Pressly and Jon Favreau receive the brunt of Peter's social awkwardness around men to a measure never successfully captured on film before... until now. (Hint: it involves lots and lots of quickly consumed alcohol.)
While hosting an open house for star client Lou Ferrigno (yes, The Incredible Hulk), Peter discovers that he is bored. Absolutely. He is ready to take a giant leap into the unknown. Enter Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), a Rush-obsessed, Hulk-loving good time man, whom Peter is immediately taken to even though they are complete opposites as he informs Peter how to read the body language of the people viewing The Hulk's property. There is something different about Sydney and, soon, Peter finds himself awkwardly rehearsing phone calls to Sydney; unsure of what to do in the early stages of their â"bromance".
Does the situation sound eerily familiar? It should because this is the basic romantic guy-meets-girl formula Hollywood has churning out since the silent age of film; however, with this hysterical script (penned by Larry Levin and Hamburg) that formulaic structure has been cleverly flipped with Peter's pursuit of a best friend. Instead of guy-meets-girl, it's a story where guy-meets-guy and the result is near perfection as the events keep building toward Peter's wedding day. With this film, never mind the predictability, it's the journey that matters. I mean, let's face it the film starts with the proposal; you know they are getting married. There's no secret in that, but it's the ride to the aisle that makes it worth the price of admission.
For those who love the typical Paul Rudd performance, with this movie, we get to see a straight-laced Rudd (almost painfully awkward to watch at times) become the Paul Rudd cool-as-a-cucumber character we all know - all due to Sydney's influence upon him. About Sydney, let's just say that Segel is Sydney or vice versa. I don't believe for one second that Segel is acting here (well, maybe 10% is performance) from what I know about Segel, well, this is who he is â"man space" and all. And it works, Segel knows what he is doing and his presence makes the movie; I couldn't imagine many actors who could pull this out without lampooning the situation. Strangely enough, this has the feel of an Apatow production, but is somehow strangely untouched by him. Yet, it easily could be mistaken for one of his and, in my book, that's not such a bad thing.
One thing this film does a little more than your average comedy is the use of location namely, the L.A. landscape. Having once lived in Los Angeles, I was appreciative of the detail spent on finding good locations and highlighting those locals during the film. It was a breath of fresh air to see these spaces being used to full effect from the opening shots of the skyline at night (truly a beautiful sight) to the closing scenes in the natural light of Santa Barbara. If you're strapped for cash this Spring Break, then take a trip to your local theater, pay $10 to see this film, and enjoy the ride through Los Angeles. Trust me, I Love You, Man will take you there.
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Language and Sound: English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; making-of featurette; "Lose Myself" music video by Ms. Lauryn Hill; original short "The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas".
Commentary - Feature-length commentary track with director John Hamburg, Paul Rudd and Jason Segal. (Warning: you might find the commentary funnier than the movie at times due to the banter between the three talents)
Gag Reel - a superbly thorough Gag Reel (where you can watch Paul Rudd try to get through one line of dialogue without cracking up). Plus a nice selection of finished Deleted and Extended scenes (most of which should have made the final cut)
Previews - Paramount has also included The Red Band Trailer of the film.
Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging