By Phillip Levin
By Phillip Levin
You know you’re watching a good, funny movie when the credits roll and the person next to you says, unasked, “Damn, that was an awesome movie.”
Yeah, “I Love You, Man” really is that good.
Peter (Paul Rudd) has proposed to his girlfriend Zooey (Rashida Jones). Peter seems to be good enough with the ladies, but during a girl’s night in, Zooey and her friends realize something’s wrong.
Peter has no guy friends.
What will their wedding look like? Will there be no best man? Peter overhears this and decides to start looking for best friend candidates.
With the help of his gay brother Robbie, who is played by Andy Samberg of “Saturday Night Live” fame, Peter begins what the movie calls man-dating.
Though Peter is looking for a typical heterosexual male friendship, it isn’t long before he accidentally finds himself on a date with a gay man who ends the night with a seemingly uncomfortable and one-sided French kiss.
But soon after that experience, Peter meets Sydney (Jason Segel).
Despite their opposite personalities, the two hit it off instantly-no doubt in part because of their shared love for the band Rush.
Peter is an uncool, uptight, whipped real estate agent, while Sydney is a carefree, relaxed, and tell-it-like-it-is investor.
Together, they are hilarious.
The first time Peter calls Sydney is one of the most memorable scenes in “I Love You, Man.”
The nervous, tongue-tied real estate agent barely manages to leave a coherent phone message for Sydney.
Somehow, that doesn’t stop the friendship from blossoming.
The two eventually find themselves spending hours together, jamming to Rush and sharing the kinds of intimate, weird and hilarious conversations that make a friendship golden.
Rudd’s character, Peter, definitely makes the movie.
It seems that he can’t go more than a few sentences without saying something so ridiculous that you can’t help but laugh.
In particular, his inability to coin nicknames is just hilarious.
But that’s not to discount Segel’s performance as Sydney.
The way Sydney handles Peter’s severe awkwardness is perfect.
I have to commend Sydney, actually, because I found myself literally face palming at Peter’s embarrassingly clumsy social skills.
Sydney, though, is never fazed by it.
Unfortunately, the movie isn’t without some cliché writing.
Of course, Zooey’s desire for Peter to make some friends of his own eventually backfires on her when Peter and Sydney are spending more time together than the soon-to-be-married couple.
But predictability, it’s a staple in the comedy genre.
Although you can see some of the plot development from a mile away, it’s forgivable because the execution of it all is truly funny.
The movie is helped by a strong supporting cast that features Jamie Pressley and Jon Favreau.
If you saw and liked “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” which also stars Rudd and Segel, then you must see “I Love You, Man.”
It’s every bit as good as that film and perhaps a bit better.
Just a few months into the year, and we’ve already got a strong contender for best comedy film of the year.
“I Love You, Man” is one of those rare movies in which you can tell the audience is truly enjoying it by their sincere laughter.
You can in fact distinguish between courtesy laughter and a gut felt laughter, and “I Love You, Man” produces only the latter.