I Love You, Man

Year Released: 2009
Directed by: John Hamburg
Starring: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Lou Ferrigno
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: March 20, 2009

Should the movie rental aisle decide to start getting more specific about categories, you will be seeing “I Love You, Man” in the newly minted ‘Bromantic Comedy’ aisle. This genre of course speaks to the daily bombardment of new words created by slamming together existing words in the hope that Internet blabbermouths and entertainment shows will repeat to no end. That being said, it’s with no shame that this movie blatantly slams together genres in a non-sexual manner bearing about the relationship that only two men can share with brutal honesty and awkwardness of new feelings. Okay, I’ll admit that last sentence sounded kind of weird, but really was a good movie.

Blue never goes out of style

Remember back in the 1980’s when cool tough guys with loads of testosterone, big guns and zany one liner’s were the big box office draw? There’s been a paradigm shift as of late, in the way that buddy comedies are becoming much more sophisticated. Not to say that “I Love You, Man” was in any way high brow, there’s a good deal of toilet humour, but it’s all done from such an honest and straightforward standpoint; all delivered by the incredibly confident Jason Segel it transcended regular comedy fodder. That was a huge draw for me: the honesty; other comedies of late are more concerned about shoving so many E! Headline news down your throat so fast it gets very old, very quickly. It was refreshing to see someone take the material and turn it into something worth hearing and thinking about.

Peter (Paul Rudd) has a little problem: he’s getting married in a few weeks and has no best man. In fact, he has no meaningful male relationships to which he can tie himself to, and sets out find the perfect man-friend to which he can ask to be his said best man. After numerous man dates set up by online profiles and Peter’s parents, they all turn out to be failures. Enter Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), the Zen master of truth with all the right justifications. Just the perfect man crush for Peter or any man really. His casual strut and self assurance winning over lasses and fella’s all around. Peter finds himself in man-love with Jason, as their relationship builds on likenesses (the 80’s band Rush) and moves from awkwardness to truly hilarious, the questions start about relationships. Not the relationship between the guys, but Peter’s impending wedding; namely things such as ‘why did you choose to marry this one?’. Without any close male buddies, Peter is sent reeling and the cracks in his long relationship with his fiancĂ©e Zooey (Rashida Jones) begin to surface. Or do they? Following closely to the Romantic Comedy formula: boy meets boy, boy has platonic man love for other boy, struggle ensues with real relationship, and both overcome to give the movie title over some sappy music. That about sums it up. Aside from the obvious gay jokes that ensue about a man-love, “I Love You Man” the plot hits all the right notes. A Commendable performance by Rashida Jones as Zooey, Peter’s fiancĂ© who has to be the cutest co-star available with laughs to spare (take THAT Katherine Heigl!). This girl certainly has that je ne se quois about her that I can’t seem to get enough of. I always look forward to any guest appearances she makes on her stomping ground “The Office”.

“Y’see Seth Rogen over there? His career is your goal bro

Above all else, Paul Rudd finally gets his own movie after toiling away in small roles. I’m glad the producers finally took a chance on this guy; because he steals scenes away from every big star he’s played opposites. Heck, even Seth Rogen’s rising star quality was powerless to stop Rudd in “40 Year Old Virgin”. Jason Segel has a similar quality about him, television simply contain his raw talent: he’s got that natural courageousness that’s self sure and bold. Plus, you got to give props to a guy that exposes his junk multiple times in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”.

Let’s hope Rudd is given the reins to more flicks where he’s headlining. If another comedy comes out that’s willing to take a subject like Bromance to the masses, make it funny and enjoyable, then sign me up for another.

8.0 out of 10

Role Models

Year Released: 2008
Directed by: David Wain
Starring: Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Release Date: Nov 7, 2008

Gross out humor, front man Paul Rudd, caustically straight and funny Jane Lynch, a plot that is absolutely over the top and chock full of four-letter obscenities spewed from a ten year old. You had me at Paul Rudd. Not to say that Role Models is only these things, it has great chemistry between the two leading men; William Scott and Rudd are absolutely a blast to watch bicker and fight, and they give each scene an improv-like quality that never distracts from the final product. The message at the end is also one that we can all appreciate, considering there’s so much pressure today to conform to the masses. You can rest easy knowing the crude jokes are funny and hip; and everyone can agree on that.

The AA group keeps getting younger

Rudd and Seann William Scott are Danny and Wheeler, Minotaur energy drink salesmen doing their pitch to high schools across the city. Danny’s in a rut, his negativity finally catching up to him when he crashes the Minotaur-mobile due to his girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks) breaking up over his last minute wedding proposal. Rather than do jail time, the two are given the option to complete 150 hours of community service at a Big Brother link organization called ‘Sturdy Wings’. The organization is run by ex-junkie Gayle (Jane Lynch), who’s full on seen-it-all and done-it-all-attitude gets half the laughs it vies for. The teens put in the care of Danny and Wheeler two extremes: Augie (Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse), the awkward older teenager who would rather practice LARP (Live Action Role Playing) than deal with the real world, and Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson) the pint sized thug with a mouth that Andrew Dice Clay would be proud of.

The movie smoothly runs along as expected; the guys learn about responsibility and the boys get the attention and acceptance they’ve been long looking for. The laughs along the way are well deserved, the situations and support characters are hiliarious (check out Ken Jeong as the ‘King’).

“Who is that horny bastard behind me?”

Role models is sweet in a macho way, it never once stops to wipe it’s tears and a kick to the groin over sentimentality. The characters all connect and the message is something we all need: you don’t have to change to earn someone’s else’s approval. The good natured spirit and fun of the film was unexpected to me, and it was enjoyable from start to finish. If you want a feel good flick that has solid laughs and lots of cussing from a kid, check out Role Models.

8.0 out of 10