As much as I like to eat my Count Chocula cereal in the morning, I don’t want to eat it every morning — I need some variety. Same goes for my comedies. As much as I like Paul Rudd, I don’t want to see him in every joke-filled movie I see either. Especially when he is used incorrectly, which, unfortunately, is the case in I Love You, Man.
Of course the intentions were good. Need a nondescript, straight guy? Rudd can certainly fill the part. He can’t, however, carry a film and that is exactly what was expected of him in this latest buddy comedy.
You see, he plays real estate agent, Peter Klaven, a man who has always found he could befriend girls more easily than guys. Not exactly a big problem until he proposes to his girlfriend Zooey (Rashida Jones). It suddenly becomes apparent that he has no guy friends — no one to confide in or to be his best man. After hearing Zooey’s friends poke fun at his situation during a girls only night out, he decides to put forth some effort into finding Mr. Right.
Stupid and generally unfunny setups occur for the next thirty minutes or so — he meets some elderly gentleman when he tries his luck with an online dating service. His gay, younger brother Robbie (Andy Samberg) introduces him to an over excitable soccer fan. His mom (Jane Curtin) sets him up with a Los Angelos transplant with a very different dating expectation. The harder Peter looks and the more help he seeks the worse off he is. That is until he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) at an open house at Lou Ferrigno’s mansion.
Sydney introduces the finer man-things in life to Peter that culminate with varying levels of laughter — the masturbation chair (funny), “Slammin’ da Bass” (overused and not so funny). Jason Segal, however, does manage to make I Love You, Man at least slightly entertaining. His toast at Peter’s wedding rehearsal is one most married men, behind closed doors, wish was given at their dry run or reception. Perhaps best of all is just the fact he is a big, goofy oddball who really takes on the persona of a too laid back man-child.
The rest of the cast is mostly unremarkable. Rashida Jones, looks great, but comes across like a wet blanket — 3/4 of the way through the film, I wished Peter would just dump her. J.K. Simmons seems content being typecast as a quirky dad (Juno), only this time around he isn’t nearly as quirky or reverent. Only Jon Favreau, as Zooey’s best friend Denise’s (Jaime Pressley) husband, provides some laughs as a complete disinterested tool who takes being a man’s man to a dizzying new level.
Mostly, the movie looked like writer/director John Hamburg was fumbling around in the dark on how to make fun of the whole “bromance” fad going on in America. That trend isn’t funny (it’s actually quite annoying) and aside from a handful of scenes, neither is I Love You, Man.