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I LOVE YOU MAN, 2009
Movie Review

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I LOVE YOU MAN
Movie Review

Directed by John Hamburg
Starring: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel
Review by Matthew Toffolo




SYNOPSIS:

Friendless Peter Klaven (Rudd) goes on a series of man-dates to find a Best Man for his wedding. But when his insta-bond his new B.F.F.(Segel) puts a strain on his relationship with his fiancée (Jones) can the trio learn to live happily ever after?

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REVIEW:

Awe the BROmantic comedy. There's been so many of them in the last few years. Judd Apatow has become a major Hollywood player for practically creating this new formula genre.

All they do is take your typical romantic comedy situation between a man and a woman and then mix it up with just two males falling in love (or falling in love again) in a platonic way while mixing in a little T&A so it's not too gay. And there you have it, another formula movie series created in the Hollywood system. The Bromantic Comedy has been as popular as the new teenage horror re-invention formula or the TV Reality concept in this decade. And its made Seth Rogan into a box office star. Something that would be unheard of 10 year ago.

Most of the characters in these films are filled with loser guys who are light on looks, any form of charm, have no financial prospects, tend to love something a little too much like sports or comic books or pot smoking to ease their pain of existence, and usually live in a basement apartment. For some reason these people became the main characters for comedy movies in this decade and I could never figure out why. I hated these guys.

What makes I Love You Man different is that the two bromantic leads aren't really losers. They are just guys who have a hard time expressing themselves with other men, something many of us can understand.

And what also makes I Love You Man different is that they actually TALK ABOUT and STATE that this is actually a film about two guys falling in love with each other. All the other films are about that but without ever talking about it. The lighter version of Midnight Cowboy were we know that Joe Buck and Razso Rizzo sleep with each other but we never saw it or they never spoke of it. So it's always hanging there in every scene except it's never hinted that it's there.

I Love You Man is now the king of the bromantic comedy. It's like Eastwood's Western Unforgiven. Where that film said it all about what a Western is, this film says it all about what the bromantic comedy is. Now all they have to do it stop making them.

This film really grew on me a lot throughout and I was completely engaged with the two leads. They are guys that I know and understand, perhaps because they are both versions of myself. Part of growing up and becoming a man is not only about forming a relationship with a woman who you will marry and procreate with, but also forming relationships with friends who you can share and grow with as well.

I have to admit, this film did get to me. I am in friendship hiatus right now due to the fact that I work all the time and I haven't found the right guys to hang around with. Growing up and into my early 20s I had a great bond of friendships with many people, but since I moved away and focused on my career, those friends have moved on from my life and I only see them from time to time. It's sad but it's right. So right now I am looking for that perfect guy(s) to hang out with.

And guess I got to that stage where I rather be alone than be with someone I had to compromise myself to be around. It wasn't worth it to me in the overall big picture of my life. Just like I won't be with a girl just for the sake of being with a girl. There has to be something there that means something.

So like the two characters in I Love You Man, I am looking for that right friend. And that's why I enjoyed watching this film. Plus, it's a well made film. Yes, there are a lot of cliches and obvious story plots, but I let that slide because of the charm of Paul Rudd and Jason Segal.

Both Rudd and Segal are moving on from the comedic character actor sidekick roles to leading men roles. And this is a road that usually doesn't work because we the audience only know these guys for being certain types on screen and on TV.

Rudd and Segal I think are different and it should be interesting how this film does at the box office, plus what their next acting choices are. They both have this common guy thing happening without being too much of a loser like Rogan does in all of his films. And that's also another jump up from the comedy films of this decade. I can follow common people for 90 minutes, but not losers. And I am in the minority in this choice because Apatow's films have made tons of money. But let's hope that I Love You Man is a jump up for this new genre and we won't go backwards.

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