Fanning the flames of bromance

By Silvia de Somma

I Love You, Man takes the concept of a man who is most at ease with those of the opposite sex and sticks him in a situation where having guy pals is kinda important: a wedding.

The movie is a refreshing and amusing look at the relationship between two very different men brought together by circumstance. Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), a mildly-successful real estate agent, just proposed to Zooey (Rashida Jones), his girlfriend of eight months. Both are extremely excited about the upcoming nuptials and are making big plans for both the ceremony and their future together. However, they hit a snag fairly early on: Zooey has a large group of girlfriends, including the perpetually single Hailey (Sarah Burns) and the acerbic, married Denise (Jaime Pressly), all of whom she wants in her wedding party. Peter, on the other hand, has no close friends of the same gender and is worried about having a mismatched number of groomsmen and bridesmaids. He decides to go on “man dates” in search of a potential best man, under the urging and guidance of his brother, Robbie (Andy Samberg). Despite his best efforts to make new guy friends, Peter just doesn’t seem to hit it off with anyone, until he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) without even trying at an open house and things just click. Soon, they’re spending hours together in Syd’s “man cave,” drinking beers, jamming and just hanging out to the increasing displeasure of Peter’s fiancĂ©e.

The movie is refreshing because it’s pretty rare to find a buddy comedy, or “bromance” if you will, that gives an honest look at the relationship between guys. It doesn’t try and hide the fact that they swear, fart and talk about sex and can sometimes act like idiots, but still shows how even guy friendships, that might seem shallow and superfluous to women, can be important and meaningful.

I Love You, Man isn’t groundbreaking or award-winning material. It’s a bit lacking in the plot department and, like a lot of comedies these days, it relies heavily on sex-related humour, scatological references and lots of profanity to amp up the funny factor. Thankfully, the characters are original enough to avoid stereotypes and the writers stopped short of taking the predictable way out of tense moments or stripping heartfelt scenes of their sincerity. The supporting cast is amazing and provides a lot of genuine talent to the movie, which really excels because of its actors’ performances. Segel isn’t exactly outside his niche on this one, but Rudd really makes his mark as someone with leading man attributes. If you don’t mind crude comedy or a slightly pedestrian storyline, I Love You, Man is an endearing and funny movie about how friendship are made, how they are kept and how they can change you for the better.

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