Movie Review – I Love You, Man

 I Love You, Man

We made the commitment to review relationship movies and when we got passes to screen the movie ‘I Love You, Man’ we dumped the kids on their grandma and we were off. Then again, for free passes and babysitting, we would have seen a Madonna remake of Rooster Cogburn.

‘I Love You, Man’ is fricken hilarious and the relationship stuff didn’t make us angry. On the contrary, the movie focused on Peter Klavin’s (Paul Rudd) search to define himself as a man. The movie begins with Peter proposing to a wonderful woman and, as they are planning the wedding, they realize that he has no man friends. So, he goes in search of male friendship and finally finds a friend in Sydney Fife (Jason Segel).

Lee says: It’s my job to psycho-mumbojumbo the movie so here it is.  I have to say that movies usually disappoint us.  At some point in the film, one of the characters does something stupid and/or the premise becomes so dysfunctional that it’s hard to remember that we are there to be entertained. This movie was fun and funny. Most of the humor came from the social awkwardness of the Paul Rudd character.  His inability to have fluidity of speech when talking with men was hilarious.

          Now for the breakdown, Rudd’s character identifies himself with his mother.  The evidence of this is the fact that he has no real relationship with his father, he chose a similar career path as his mother and he has only had female friends.  His family, consisting of doting mother, macho father and homosexual brother, point out that he never had guy friends. 

          The part of the film that I liked the most was the relationship between the affianced Peter and Zooey.  She is the one who encourages him to seek out friendship and to have an identity separate from her.  Sure you had the typical cringe-worthy marriage where the couple fights all the time and disrespect one another.  In fact, I’m pretty sure Jon Favreau will get nominated for asshole of the year for his role as Jamie Pressly’s husband.  The film also offers your desperate girlfriend character that is willing to do anything to have a boyfriend.  And in the midst of it all, you have the engaged couple who are respectful of one another and genuinely communicate.

          The relationship Rudd creates with Jason Segel’s character, Sydney, is not the superficial pap you see all the time.  They are silly together, they jam, ‘Slap the Bass’ and share intimate conversations.  Sydney, in order to help his friend, actually makes a toast for the happy couple by suggesting to Zooey to ‘Give it back.  Return the favor.’  There is loyalty there not from competition but from admiration. 

          It’s been a long time since I watched a movie that had me laughing all the way through.  I have to hand it to Paul Rudd, who I think is adorable, for creating a character that was vulnerable and masculine.  I hope more films are done like this.  Our luck, we’ll be seeing more relationships like Favreau and Pressly which made my stomach turn.        

Paul Says: The movie had every male stereotype, from the asshole to the momma’s boy. It showed a well grounded homosexual and the, of course, the obligatory guy that has not grown up. Even in the way the story was told, it was a great blend of male and female with masculine barf jokes and fart references all wrapped in the delicate bow of a touching comedy.

I must admit that I saw myself in the male lead: female focused, socially inept and, for lack of a more encompassing word, civil. The movie was about Peter struggling to become a man. Not the societal cliché of false maledom but a real man. One that can communicate, play like a child, and slap a guy down. Really, he slaps a poaching coworker because he is pissed but not a punch-him-in-the-face kind of guy. Out of every movie that I have watched, this one has the best male role model and the most balanced view of relationship.

And it had Lou Ferrigno, the Incredible Hulk.

The movie was perfect.



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