I Love You Man----Not Really

by Christian Gillam, SUNY Cortland

Posted in on Sunday, Apr 12

I didn't like I Love You Man but it may mark the pioneer film in an emerging genre: Bromantic Comedies. Yes, I realize I'm borrowing that term from a reality series on MTV featuring Brody Jenner (Bromance). And Yes, I realize that by doing so I'm actively contributing to the downfall of humanity. But, I digress.

I can't say I had high expectations for this movie. I knew it had received good reviews but then again so did Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and just about every piece of shit featuring Steve Carrell (his only worthwhile film is Little Miss Sunshine and let's face it, how can you go wrong with a cast that includes Alan Arkin and Greg Kinnear?).

But back to I Love You Man, and where it went wrong. Two words: Paul Rudd.

The story follows Paul Rudd's character (Patrick Klaven) as he desperately tries to find a male friend to be his best man for his wedding. Having always focused most of his attention on his relationships with women, Klaven has never had time to make male friends.

As indicated by the title, the focal point of the movie was the relationship that develops between Patrick Klaven and his first-ever male friend, Sydney Fife (played by Jason Segel). We learn about their relationship through montages of them hanging out together and jamming out to Rush (Okay, the excessive amount of Rush in this movie was totally awesome).

Now, I liked the overwhelmingly cynical Paul Rudd of Role Models but that character's edge was thoroughly absent in this film. Most of Rudd's jokes in this movie are derived from nervous phone conversations that lead to awkward/forced sayings like: "Totally... totes my goats." For a while these comments generate some chuckles but eventually (about 20 minutes in) the act goes flat.

The strengths of this film were the supporting characters, particularly, Jon Farveau's role as Benny, whose foul-mouthed antics actually get some legitimate laughs. Andy Sanberg was also funny as Klaven's gay brother. But their contributions (while memorable) are still minor and become largely overshadowed by the uninspired and boring relationship between Klaven and Fife. Over the course of the film the audience has the audacity to hope for the relationship to blossom and transform Klaven into a likeable character. Paul Rudd spends most of the film straddling the line between being comically awkward and stuck in the mire of annoyance that his character portrays.

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