I Love You, Man (R) ★★★

scen from I Love You, ManRashida Jonesscene from I Love You, Man

‘Bromance’ in LA

“I Love You Man,” is a ‘laugh out loud’ comedy stars two of the funniest guys who are becoming the new ‘go to’ comedy actors in Hollywood. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are on the cover of this month’s “Vanity Fair” magazine, with the tag line, ‘Laughing Matter: Comedy’s New Legends.” Who can forget the 6ft. 4″ gangly Segel in the comedy hit “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”? Rudd has seen his share of success in numerous films, and most recently, he co-starred in “Role Models,” as well as guest-hosting Saturday Night Live.

John Hamburg, another talented rising star, wrote and directed this hysterical film. He also co-wrote “Meet the Parents” and has worked with big-name stars such as Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, and Owen Wilson. In my interview with Hamburg, he clarified the term bromance. “It’s a close friendship between two guys, neither of which is the others love interest.”

The film’s premise is that a guy finds himself in a situation where he needs a best man for his wedding. Paul Rudd stars as a newly engaged guy whose total attention has been focused on the girlfriends in his life. He decides to try and make some new guy friends, and like most things in life, it’s tough to plan certain situations; they have to happen naturally. During his search, he meets all kinds of wacky prospects and actually lucks out by accident. The unorthodox Jason Segel becomes his new buddy, and the two begin to have lots of quality guy time together. Just as girls typically love to lunch, shop, and spa with each other, the guys jam to their favorite bands, watch sports, and hang at the beach.

The musical bonding scenes in Segel’s ‘Man Cave’ are the best! Paul’s character can truly be himself with his new-found friend. Both guys are having a great relaxed time together as they’re either singing loudly off-key or slappin’ the bass guitar in overly exaggerated movements to their favorite group Rush. The pinnacle is when the duo attends a Rush concert together, and the fiancé, unbeknownst to Rudd, is treated like a fifth wheel.

Rashida Jones plays Rudd’s fiancé. She’s gentle in her approach to Paul’s ‘no guy friends’ problem and encourages him along the way. She’s the right choice for this role as she’s the perfect ‘middle of the road’ between the two crack-ups and provides a sense of normalcy. Things do begin to change as Jones doesn’t like taking a back seat to the new best friend.

Andy Samberg plays the gay helpful brother, and J.K. Simmons plays the Dad, aka–Juno Dad. Mom is another SNL great, Jane CurtinLou Ferrigno, (Mr. Universe and Incredible Hulk fame) plays himself, and he’s actually amazing! Who knew a bodybuilder could be so funny?

Jon Favreau portrays the tough guy friend who also directed the mega-hit “Iron Man.” You might recall Favreau as the brother who mercilessly body wrestles with Vince Vaughn in the holiday comedy “Four Christmases.”

Shot on location in LA, I thoroughly enjoyed the bright sunny neighborhood scenes. Venice Beach is always full of zanies, and we are shown a few in this film. Particularly during a scene in which Segel likes to play a game called ‘Bowsers.’ This is while walking his dog; he looks for dog walkers who resemble their dogs. Comical indeed!

Rudd’s comedic timing is flawless as he plays the mumbling uncool guy who just wants to fit in somewhere with ‘the guys.’ Yes, he’s different, especially when he tells Segel one of the best moments of his life was watching Johnny Depp in “Chocolat” and dining on a summer salad with his fiancé. Segel can scarcely believe what he’s just heard and challenges Rudd on this point. Later he changes his tune when he views the Depp film, and we actually spot him misty-eyed.

I applaud the script and the storyline in this film. It’s about time that guys’ relationships are explored and recognized as an important aspect of social and emotional self-actualization. I certainly know how special and important my girlfriends are to me. A guy who has close friends will truly enhance his own relationship with his love interest. Bravo!

Sarah Knight Adamson © March 1, 2009