He Needed a Best Man...He Got the Worst.
"...fresh, fun, and original. Jason Buchanan, TV Guide
|In this wildly funny hit comedy, Paul Rudd (Knocked Up) gets engaged to the girl of his dreams but has not a single guy friend to be his Best Man until he meets the ultimate dude, Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Rudd and Segal's "bro-mance" takes male-bonding to hilarious new heights that keep you laughing until the unforgettable last frame.|
"By far the best Judd Apatow comedy that Judd Apatow had nothing at all to do with. Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"...a hilarious comedy made even more successful because so much of the satire seems fresh. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
"...[Rudd] gives the finest performance of his career, breaking his comic beats down into weird and wonderful fractional increments. Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
"...a rare comedy that actually grows funnier on reflection. It benefits enormously from the talents of the two stars. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter
After years of swiping scenes from the leading men in such movies as KNOCKED UP and THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, Paul Rudd finally headlines a star vehicle of his own. Unlike those Judd Apatow productions, it's John Hamburg (ALONG CAME POLLY) who directs I LOVE YOU, MAN, albeit with many of the touchstones of Apatow's highly successful freaks-and-geeks-with-heart aesthetic. In other words, this is not an Apatow film, but, with the male capacity for--and simultaneous inability to express--fraternal love as its core comic conceit (and emotional centerpiece), it may as well be.Rudd plays Peter Klaven, a real estate agent with a blossoming career and an imminent marriage to Zooey (THE OFFICE's Rashida Jones)--basically, he's lucky in all things except male bonding. The narrative arc centers on his quest for platonic man-love--as opposed to, say, finding the girl of his dreams--and follows the boilerplate dictates of a standard rom-com with a subversive wink. In this case, boy meets boy, boys bond over their common love of Rush and Andre the Giant, boys break up and make up, etc. Rudd and co-star Jason Segel (FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL), a fellow Apatow alum who plays Sydney Fife, the Type B object of Klaven's affection, imbue their roles with winning charisma and elevate the plot with real and nuanced chemistry. With a whip-smart pace, the film continually tills fresh comic ground as Hamburg finds punctuation points in every scene and never lets a gag overstay its welcome. While the supporting cast features many memorable turns by the likes of Jon Favreau, Jaime Pressly, and Andy Samberg, I LOVE YOU, MAN ultimately belongs to Rudd, who approaches insecurity and social awkwardness with the same dead-eye marksmanship that Peter Sellers did for slapstick.
Cast & Crew
MTV Award (2009)
||Paul Rudd, Thomas Lennon, Nominee, Best Kiss
3 stars out of 5 -- "A canny examination of male friendships and the awkward ways in which they can complicate romantic relationships, this understated, often hilarious comedy best succeeds when hitting on uncomfortable, universal truths..."
"The slight Rudd and the gangly Segel strike the right physical contrast for comedy....It's a rare comedy that actually grows funnier on reflection. It benefits enormously from the talents of the two stars."
"The movie works because everything hinges on the camaraderie and undeniable chemistry between Rudd and Segel....I LOVE YOU, MAN's light-hearted exploration of male bonding provides substantial fodder for humor, heightened by the inspired casting of two of the industry's most appealing comic actors."
Los Angeles Times
"Rudd has long been the nice guy/straight man character in comedies like this and he delivers that again with some added sweetness since this time around his posse is a bunch of gal pals."
New York Times
"[A] fitfully funny comedy....[The director] sets a nice, easygoing tone for the actors....That suits the talents of Mr. Rudd, a slack screen presence who owns the patent on male adorableness and is charming to watch..."
"Paul Rudd gives a startlingly funny and original performance as a nice guy with serious dweebish tendencies, and the delight of what Rudd does here comes down to how exquisitely embarrassing he is to watch....I LOVE YOU, MAN is on the side of all things rude, raunchy, and guyish..." -- Grade: A
3 stars out of 4 -- "Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are howlingly funny....Their presence and ace comic timing kick the movie up a notch."
"After delivering scene-stealing turns in THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN and KNOCKED UP, Rudd claims the much-deserved spotlight in I LOVE YOU, MAN, which in its own endearing way tweaks the very same male-bonding pieties that those movies made a fortune celebrating."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Jason Segel plays Sydney as a man thoroughly comfortable in his own skin, an unapologetic hedonist who uses his intelligence as a comic weapon....I LOVE YOU, MAN is, above all, just plain funny....You feel good watching the movie."
Included in Entertainment Weekly's "The Best Films Of The Year" -- "The director, John Hamburg, crams I LOVE YOU, MAN with gags as wild as anything in THE HANGOVER..."
ReelViews 7 of 10
It has long been my contention that the male bonding movie, or so-called "buddy movie," is actually a romantic comedy without the sex. I Love You, Man makes this explicit - it's a buddy movie with all of the rom-com elements exaggerated out of proportion. However, despite the clever premise and several laugh-aloud moments, the film as a whole underwhelms. That's partially the result of a storyline that sags a bit from overfamiliarity, but the bigger problem is one that kills its share of standard romantic comedies: sputtering chemistry between the leads. The two main characters, played by Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, don't connect in a way that has us rooting for them to be together in a meaningful capacity at the end, and that makes I Love You, Man seem flat...While the film offers its share of zingers and raunchy punch lines, there's not much in the way of real insight into male bonding, romance, or tolerating friendships within a committed relationship. There's a sense that Hamburg wants to offer these things, but the script never gets around to doing it. The biggest "truths" he comes close to involve masturbation and oral sex. Those topics are good for shock value and getting a few laughs, but they're not subjects that result in thought-provoking dialogue...There's no question that I Love You, Man is a cut above a lot of the movies out there masquerading as comedies, and it offers something many of them fail to provide: material that is genuinely worth laughing about. But, unless a film is balls-to-the-wall, start-to-finish hilarity, it needs more than a witty framing device and sporadic humor to keep it afloat, and that's where I Love You, Man comes up short. This is by no means a bad movie, but it's not something worth searching out. It's mediocre. Unfortunately, these days in the comedy genre, that could almost be considered a recommendation.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
I would like to have a friend like Sydney Fife. I think a lot of guys would. Even though it's funny, charming and light-hearted, that may be the basic appeal of "I Love You, Man." Sydney represents the freedoms most men hesitate to give themselves, maybe through fear of ending up alone, arrested or locked inside behavior that looks fun when you're young but crazy when you're older. The great thing about Sydney is that he lives your fantasies so you don't have to yourself...Peter (Paul Rudd) needs a Sydney (Jason Segel) in his life. He has been told this by Zooey (Rashida Jones), the girl he plans to marry. She would, however, have preferred a less extreme case than this Sydney. Peter is a real-estate agent who is hopelessly, even touchingly, clueless when it comes to seeming the least bit cool. One of those really nice guys, who, when the chips are down, has no idea where to look, what to say, how to move or how to extricate himself gracefully from an impossible situation. He gets along great with women but has no male best friend and actually needs to find one to be best man at his wedding...Because this is a rom-com, various obligatory scenes are necessary; Peter goes shopping for a best friend on some man dates with guys met on the Internet, with predictable results. The movie feels locked into formula until the appearance of Sydney, met while scarfing free food at Peter's open house for the home of Lou Ferrigno. Segel brings sunshine into the movie; we like his character even more quickly than Peter does..."I Love You, Man" is, above all, just plain funny. It's funny with some dumb physical humor, yes, and some gross-out jokes apparently necessary to all buddy movies, but also funny in observations, dialogue, physical behavior and Sydney Fife's observations as a people-watcher. I heard a lot of real laughter from a preview audience, not the perfunctory laughter at manufactured payoffs. You feel good watching the movie. That's what comedies are for, right?
- Roger Ebert