Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I LOVE YOU, MAN - A 'Bromantic' Comedy

I LOVE YOU, MAN ('bromantic' comedy)
Cast: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, Jon Favreau and Jaime Pressly
Director: John Hamburg
Time: 110 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

Paul Rudd and Jason Segel in I LOVE YOU, MAN

PREAMBLE: Hey guys, ever heard of a 'bromantic' comedy? It is a lot like a romantic comedy but it involves two men. No, I Love You, Man is not about gay love. It is about male bonding taken to the level of desperation. Like in someone desperately seeking a best friend just so that he has someone to be his best man at his wedding.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Real estate agent Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a guy who is more comfortable with women than men. When his fiancee, Zooey (Rashida Jones), asks him who's going to be his best man at their wedding, Peter is in a bind. He can ask his brother Robbie (Andy Samberg), but he is gay and it doesn't seem right to him.

So Peter embarks on a plan to acquire a buddy the way many people find sexual partners - by "man-dating" in a platonic way. This, however, does not work as he has wanted it to. Just when Peter has given up, a chance encounter brings him into contact with Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), and it's male bonding at first sight. Sydney takes Peter to his 'man cave' where they spend hours on end jamming to songs of their favourite band Rush; they go to a Rush concert, they make up pet names for each other, and they cut work to hang out.

Soon, Peter is spending so much time with Sydney that Zooey feels neglected and the wedding may have to be called off.

HITS & MISSES: This may not be a 'guy movie' (women, I believe, will form the majority of the viewers) but it is a movie about guys and guy stuff and so we have 'insight gags' on farting, masturbation, oral sex, etc.

Surprisingly, these are not crude, sophomore jokes. They may even teach us a thing or two about these private things which we take for granted. Director John Hamburg, working from a story idea by Larry Levin (with whom he co-wrote the script), sets a nice, easygoing pace for the stars. And Rudd and Segel (last seen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall) click off right from the start. Rudd, ever the charming leading man, has us rooting for him while Segel provides the laughs. The supporting cast, including Jon Favreau, Jaime Pressly and Lou Ferrigno (as himself, spoofing his Incredible Hulk role) do a commendable job, too.

THE LOWDOWN: Here's a nice change: a 'bromantic comedy' the guys and gals can enjoy together.


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