I Love You, Man (2009)

(On TV, March 2015)  The shadow of Judd Apatow looms large over this movie, even though he had nothing to do with it.  It stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, who both got huge breaks in Apatow films. But more significantly, it’s an R-rated exploration of a tricky area of modern American society, which is to say how men make friends after they hit thirty.  Here, a groom-to-be is forced to face the fact that he has no reasonable best-man prospects, and decides that he ought to make a few friends before it’s too late.  Applying the conventions of romantic comedies to platonic same-sex friendship is good for a few laughs, especially when you mix Rudd’s leading-man earnestness with Segel’s laid-back coolness.  The script isn’t bad (although the gibberish wordplay stuff gets old quickly) and it has a few things to say about a subject often neglected.  The tone is breezy, supporting actors all get a chance to shine, and the conclusion couldn’t be more upbeat if it tried.  In short, I Love You, Man is a well-executed piece of comedy that fits almost perfectly with the zeitgeist of American mainstream comedy of circa-2009.  You can’t ask for much more.

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