I Love You, Man
This film is like a trip to Joe’s Inn in the Fan. Years later, as you look back on your mid-twenties, you’re not going to remember the incredible feast you had. But depending on who you brought with you, you’ll probably enjoy yourself a ton more than you would at the technically superior yet much more intense Edo’s. And isn’t that just what you want sometimes? I’m hungry now.
“Let me review Duplicity,” I said, but no, everyone in the RVANews palace was more interested in hearing about I Love You, Man instead. Duplicity, guys! It will not make sense and I will just get to make fun of it! Plus I heard that there was a naked scene involving a girl! But now here we are today, with me frantically trying to think of how to describe whether a thing will make someone laugh, one of the most unpredictable emotions a human being can experience. But (readership of blogs I may or may not once have had notwithstanding) nobody wants to hear me complain. I Love You, Man it is.
Here, try this. I Love You, Man is like a trip to Joe’s Inn in the Fan. Years later, as you look back on your mid-twenties (or early teens, or late fifties, or whatever RVANews’s demographic is) you’re not going to remember the incredible feast you had at Joe’s. But you probably had some good times there, because it’s comfortable, and it’s good, and it doesn’t really challenge you all that much. Depending on who you brought with you, you’ll probably enjoy yourself a ton more than you would at the technically superior yet much more intense Edo’s. And isn’t that just what you want sometimes? I’m hungry now.
Peter (Paul Rudd, who I’m told is somewhat good looking) has everything a person could want from life. He has a successful career, lives in Los Angeles, and just got engaged to the love of his life, Zooey (Rashida Jones, who is in the select elite class of Hollywood starlets who are wicked smart, making her like double-hot). But his life is lacking only one, crucial element: dudes who are just friends.
For most of his life, this hasn’t been a problem. But a wedding is the one time in a man’s life when he must stand before his friends, family, and whatever personification of spiritual or governmental authority makes him most comfortable, and declare irrevocably that this particular person standing next to him is his Best Man. The choice is an important one, because this person will need to drink alcohol and then talk about you at the reception in front of many others, a process which could be incredibly charming or incredibly disastrous, depending.
But, let’s be honest, here. Dudes are kind of repulsive sometimes. If you’ve focused all of your life’s relationship building energy on finding that special female non-platonic someone, how are you going to find Mr. Right, as well? And how will your fiancé react to your search for The One?
Not so implausible, right? Does anyone really understand the process by which men become friends? I know I sure don’t. The emotional restrictions imposed on men by contemporary western society are a little limiting when it comes to cultivating platonic male-male relationships, because it’s not like we can just have pillow fights in our underwear while drinking White Zinfandel like chicks do. No, ours is a lonelier road to hoe, friendship-wise.
At the same time, it’s not like these are uncharted waters, here, given that Larry David has been making sitcoms about this exact subject for going on twenty years. If you’ve seen Seinfeld before, you probably can predict where this little boat is planning to navigate itself.
But what truly makes I Love You, Man the solid, four-star, Joe’s Inn caliber meal of a movie is the tremendous cast. Little touches, like Jon Favreau (Vegas, baby) playing the unlikable husband of the fiancé’s best friend, or diamond-in-the-rough level unveilings like Sarah Burns (delightfully awkward as the fiancé’s uncomfortably single friend) make it the movie it is. It’s even better that, despite the palpable gender wars-based slant of the plot synopsis and unlike many romantic comedies, the movie doesn’t really cheer for one gender over the other, mean that you can comfortably take members of the opposite sex without fear of being smacked or irritably interrogated for laughing at too many jokes. Somehow, they hit exactly the right halfway point between He’s Just Not That Into You (in one corner, fighting for the female side) and Superbad (in the other, solidly representing dude-dom).
After a string of the types of comedies in the last few years designed primarily to out-shock, out-chick, or out-weed each other, I Love You, Man is a nice way to ease into the summer movie going season with likeable, relatable characters. And I swear I will stop reviewing these solid yet unspectacular romantic comedies and giving them four stars, whenever they stop putting out solid four-star romantic comedies.
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