Thanks to the performances and improvs of Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, the bromance I Love You, Man is the funniest film this year.
Not necessarily great for anything but the jokes, which in most cases are enough, the comedy takes a silly premise and runs with it until just before it runs out of steam.
Rudd plays a girl's guy, Peter Klaven — meaning he'd rather hang with the gals than the bros — who is about to get married. Needing a best man for his wedding, he starts auditioning possibilities with man dates, which, of course, get misinterpreted or just go wrong. He throws up on the macho husband (Jon Favreau) of his fiancée's best friend, while having to fend off sexual advances from a guy who gets the wrong impression.
Not illogical, seeing that Peter seems more feminine than his gay brother, Robbie (Andy Samberg), who's a trainer at a gym.
When Segel's Sydney Fife shows up at the open-house that real estate agent Peter is hosting to sell the house of former Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno, the two connect over hors d'oeuvres, even though Sydney — a self-employed investor — is there to pick up cougars.
Sydney is as secure in his manhood as he is oblivious to what an ass he could be. He lives on the beach, with his garage turned into male sanctuary. (Judd Apatow isn't on the credits, but this is definitely from the Apatow house.) Peter and Sydney ultimately bond over the rock band Rush.
The John Hamburger film is enhanced by a fun cast. Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation, The Office) is the right fit as Peter's bemused girlfriend, Zooey, while Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, Favreau, Jaime Pressly and Ferrigno, as himself, give the ensemble a nice feel. In different hands the stories of Peter's difficulty in relating to macho guys and Sydney's refusal to grow up — like many guys — might have been an interesting journey, but Hamburger's film aims for laughs, and on that level it succeeds.
I Love You, Man retails for $29.99 or $39.99 on Blu-ray.