DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: I Love You, Man

Friday 14 August 2009

I Love You, Man

I Love You Man (2009) dir. John Hamburg
Starring: Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, Rashida Jones


“I Love You Man”, though not quite a barrel of the gut busting laughs is surprisingly clever reversal of a romantic comedy, charting the bromance between two dudes with all the familiar formula beats hit.

Paul Rudd plays the emasculated role of Peter Klaven, a man who has lived his life more comfortable around women than men, he’s always had a girlfriend, and so never had the quality male bonding in takes to develop those distinctly male habits. He can’t appreciate geriatric porn, can’t hold down his liquor, he’s polite and accommodating to his girlfriend, and objects when his wife talks openly about his sex life with her girlfriends. He’s even less manly than his gay step-brother. So when it comes to finding a best man for in wedding, he has no one to be his pal.

So Peter employs an online manfriend dating service setting him up with potential man friends. The dates he goes on all go awry until he meets the perfect bro-buddy, Sidney Fife (Jason Segel), a suave, carefree, beer-drinking, often obnoxious, ladyloving super-dude. The perfect dude to teach him how to be a man. The closer their relationship gets, of course, the more he alienates his girlfriend. The bizarre romcom scenario plays out all the way to the wedding when the two dudes who have broke up have to reconcile their conflict and reunite on the alter.

Paul Rudd is entertaining as the dweeb milking every opportunity to embellish his character's pathetic girliness. The scene which shows Peter catching wind of a conversation among his fiance's girlfriends while he waits sadly holding a tray of finger food is so wretchedly feeble and impotent.

Peter’s education into the world of men provides an opportunity to explore some of the sillier but truer aspects of the simpleton that is man. Sydney’s masturbation table for instance, a conveniently placed end table containing all the instruments and accessories necessary to jerk off; his full drum-kit, guitar and bass next to his television and their mutual love for the glorious progressive rock sounds of the most repellant of bands to women – RUSH.

Watching the two rock geeks squeal out the lyrics to 'Tom Sawyer' uninhibitedly at the concert made me look inward in shame – do I look like that when I mimic Getty Lee in the car? The details of the airbass Peter plays - the choice of holding it high, or low, and when to pluck or walk the strings - which Peter’s fiance just doesn’t understand, conveys these subtle but important differences to men. Depends on the occasion, but for Rush, it HAS to be played up high and plucked.

Women just don’t know this stuff, and so there’s an admirable appreciation for co-writer/director Hamburg to even go there and make a movie about this stuff. But it’s also a completely adequate and forgettable film which I will never watch again, and rarely even recommend it to people other than to point out these esoteric Rush details. If there’s one, two or even three movies to see out right, it’s not “I Love You, Man”, but if you catch it on a plane you might just learn something about yourself and maybe chuckle occasionally. Enjoy.

“I Love You Man” is available on Blu-Ray and DVD from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment.

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