After seeing previews and reading plot synopses, I wasn’t too excited about seeing I Love You, Man, assuming it was going to be string of gross-out jokes and plain stupidity. However, while it had its share of these, it was still genuinely funny. Unfortunately, it was also rated R for a reason. The film was rampant with language and sexual conversations.
Paul Rudd plays Peter Klaven, a recently engaged man who, upon realizing that he has no friends to serve as his best man, sets out on a string of awkward “man dates” until he meets Sydney Fife, an outspoken man with whom he instantly bonds. However, the friendship leads to complications when it puts strains on his relationship with his fiancée, Zooey.
The two main characters were ideally cast. It’s refreshing to see a handsome, charming actor like Rudd willing to play a character who is so hopelessly inept in some areas. He is brilliant in the many awkward moments of the film, always keeping the humor both realistic and hilarious. Jason Segal is equally good as Sydney Fife. This character could have easily been a stereotypical slob, but he manages to stay unique through his blend of macho coarseness with honesty and vulnerability.
The writing is also brilliant and the actors make the most of it. Much of the dialogue is written and spoken how real people talk, complete with stumbling over words, overlapping dialogue, and sentences left in mid-air. Most importantly, the script is just plain funny. It is full of funny characters, lines, and situations. It also has some surprisingly, subtly touching moments. The idea of friendship and what makes a good friend is explored; however, it never tries to be moving, and humor is invoked in all the scenes that have potential to be sappy.
There is really only one prominent artistic problem and that is the character Zooey. So much time is spent delving into the characters of Peter and Sydney that Zooey seems more like an obligatory character than a person someone could actually fall in love with. This harms the film in that it almost makes the viewer wish Peter would give up on her and just spend time with Sydney, as this is where the film really takes off.
Unfortunately, though, I Love You, Man is full of coarse language and discussions about sex. There are also references to homosexuality. The film is very funny, but due to these factors, discretion must be used in deciding whether or not to spend time and money on it.
Adrienne Frank was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she was homeschooled and developed an interest in film. She has since written several scripts, produced two short films – one of which was a runner-up in a local film festival – and also has a short script currently in production. Now a resident of Ann Arbor, Adrienne is finishing her second feature-length script.