I Love You, Man-2009
Starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, Rashida Jones
Scott’s Review #1,311
Reviewed October 24, 2022
I Love You, Man (2009) is another one of these ‘feel-good’ types of ‘bromance’ comedies to grace the silver screen in the 2000s. It takes a familiar storyline of two male friends bonding, usually involving a female in the mix to complicate matters, with hilariously awkward moments thrown in.
It’s nothing groundbreaking or overly severe but rather a mildly satisfying ‘guy film’ that a female audience can also enjoy too because there exists a romance and a happily ever after.
I’m simplifying the specific gender tastes quite a bit but what I mean is the film is light and there can be something for everyone to enjoy.
While there are some innocent homoerotic playful moments between the men, for laughs, of course, the genre avoids anything LGBTQ+ related other than a gay supporting character who cleverly teaches the straight male how to ‘meet’ men.
Director, John Hamburg, is involved in similarly themed projects like Meet the Parents (2000) and Along Came Polly (2004) so he knows the common premise required for a film like I Love You, Man as well as what the audience wants.
As his wedding day approaches, nerdy Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) realizes he has no one to serve as his best man. Through a series of “man-dates,” he finds abrasive Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), and the pair become instant friends.
But as Peter’s “bromance” with Sydney grows stronger, it threatens his relationship with his intended, Zooey (Rashida Jones), forcing Peter to make a choice.
It’s not a bad effort and Rudd and Segal have good chemistry as polar opposite characters. The differences are a big part of the laughs but Jones is somewhat unnecessary to the plot other than the required female component to satisfy the formula.
She dutifully plays her role as the straight woman immersed between two goofballs but has very little to do other than get in the way and be a roadblock to the guy’s fun.
It’s not a great role for her and the chemistry is lacking between her and Rudd but maybe that’s just the point. I’m not too sure but I found the humorous moments entirely left to the boys to provide.
My favorite section of the film is one that many may dismiss or deem secondary. The legendary progressive rock band Rush makes an appearance as a way that Peter and Sydney ultimately bond.
Any fan of music, especially a thinking man’s band like Rush, can attest to the genuine bond that can be created between followers of a specific group.
Rush is legendary for just that and it makes I Love You, Man feel fresher than it otherwise would have. Besides, other than Led Zeppelin is there a better example of a ‘guy’s band’?
Otherwise, the film is particularly run-of-the-mill. There are familiar arguments, misunderstandings, breakups, and makeup to be endured.
Events start with a marriage proposal and unsurprisingly end with a wedding ceremony so anything in between is rather superfluous since we can see the outcome a mile away.
Naturally, as much as Zooey wants Peter to have more male friends she becomes suspicious and otherwise threatened by the new blood, feeling left out. There is a hint that Sydney may be trying to manipulate and pull the wool over Peter’s eyes over a financial loan but things work themselves out just fine.
As predictable as I Love You, Man is there is a sentimental, even heartwarming sensation to be left with, and a few good chuckles along the way.