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I LOVE YOU, MAN

SYNOPSIS:
When successful real estate agent Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) gets engaged to his dream girl Zooey (Rashida Jones), he realizes he doesn't have a close male friend to be his Best Man.
So he goes on awkward 'man-dates' to find such a friend, and meets the fun-loving, charismatic Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), with whom he instantly bonds. But this causes complication in his relationship with Zooey and eventually he has to choose between them.

Review by Louise Keller:
This variation on a theme of rom coms coughs up the brom com, a coarse and funny look at male bonding as it examines the difference between the sexes. In the vein of Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the film's success lies in the yin-yang match up between Paul Rudd's sensitive nice guy Peter Klaven who borders on being a dweeb and Jason Segel's coarse, crude and outrageously honest Sydney Fife, who prises Peter from his comfortable shell. The less you analyse the plot the better - logic does not necessarily prevail when it comes to relationships.

Rudd's Peter is a guy who has always been 'a girlfriend guy', which seemingly gives him an excuse for the fact that he has no male friends. He does not relate to Rob Huebel's vile, sexist Tevin Downey at work, who delights in porn sites, nor to his bad-tempered fencing partner Gil (Mather Zickel) or to the heavy drinking, foul-mouthed poker-playing Barry (Jon Favreau). Peter focuses on his future life with his new fiancé Zooey (Rashida Jones) and his upward bound real estate career.

Director John Hamburg, who co-wrote the script with Larry Levin, takes a blunt look at all the relationships, how they work, how they differ and how they clash. In the opening scenes after Peter has proposed to Zooey, it is clear when she calls her close friends on conference speaker phone from the car, that she has shared intimate details of their sex life with them, much to Peter's horror. Suddenly Peter's lack of male friends becomes an issue, so his meeting Segel's Sydney Fife at the Open day at Lou Ferrigno's house (which Peter is trying to sell for a commission and Sydney is there to take advantage of the catering) is like an answer from heaven. This is the start of their questionably beautiful friendship.

Rudd excels at being awkward, and we squirm in our seats for him as he unsuccessfully tries to be cool. Segel is a natural scene stealer, behaving outrageously in every situation, including an inappropriate toast at the family engagement dinner. There are some amusing moment during the 'man-dates' that Peter's gay brother Robbie (Andy Samberg, excellent) sets up, such as the mis-reading of signals and sexual attraction. Needless to say, Peter and Sydney's increasingly intense relationship prompts hiccups between Peter and Zooey, but we are guaranteed a happy ending, when all the crossed wires become untangled and impossible relationships are resolved. It's lightweight escapism, but one its target market will enjoy.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

I LOVE YOU, MAN (MA)
(US, 2009)

CAST: Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Sarah Burns, Greg Levine, Jaime Pressly, Jon Favreau, Jane Curtin, J.K. Simmons, Andy Samberg

PRODUCER: Donald De Line, John Hamburg

DIRECTOR: John Hamburg

SCRIPT: John Hamburg, Larry Levin

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lawrence Sher

EDITOR: William Kerr

MUSIC: Theodore Shapiro

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Andrew Laws

RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 4, 2009







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