Anthony's Film Review
I Love You, Man (2009)
This romantic comedy is funny, delightful, and so true to life...
Sometimes a clever story idea can arise from a simple twist to a frequently used premise. That was my initial thought during the first ten minutes of the romantic comedy I Love You, Man. Here is the story of Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), who is a nice guy with a great job as a realtor in Los Angeles and a great fiance named Zooey Rice (Rashida Jones). What's nice about this relationship is that he really cares about her, so the feeling is naturally reciprocated. He is able to care about her because there's not much in the way. He's not the kind of guy who wastes time with sports, parties, drinking, and other bachelor activities.
One day, Peter overhears a conversation with Zooey and her friends. One of them says that Peter having no male friends might be problematic, because it would lead him to be a clingy sort of guy. This is where things get interesting. Instead of a bachelor who struggles to win a girl's heart, we have an engaged man who struggles to make a new male friend. So Peter decides to make some new friends. What's funny is that his efforts are similar to those involved in dating the opposite sex. He puts up an online profile, responds to messages, and meet new guys over dinner. Other than one embarrassing encounter with a gay man, these scenes are only meant to look gay without being directly gay, and that is what makes it funny.
There's also humor in the filthy but candid dialogue among many of the characters. This is definitely true with the great friend Peter finds, an investor named Sidney Fife (Jason Segel). In their initial encounter, Sidney talks about the signs that one observes when a flatulent person is ready to pass gas. Later, after inviting Peter to his house, Sidney openly and shamelessly talks about masturbation. Such scenes made me laugh because of how unexpected they were and also how uninhibited the characters sounded when they talked this way.
Overall, the movie is a delightful portrait of male bonding at its best. Peter and Sidney hang out in many places and do many things. Most of the time, Zooey is happy and even supportive about this new "bromance." Now, if you're expecting to see some kind of conflict (which, after all, is what drives any story), there is some, but not much. There is one couple in the movie who argues a lot, and Zooey eventually feels that Peter's time with Sidney may be jeopardizing their relationship. But all in all, the movie is just uplifting all the way through.
That's the main reason I enjoyed this movie. A story should have a bit of conflict somewhere, but it doesn't have to be melodramatic with so many significant problems affecting the characters. Sometimes, a story that focuses mainly on enjoying life is good, too. After all, it's what we all strive for. Besides that, the movie goes further by reminding us that happiness isn't just found in one place or one person. It's in a variety of things. As much as I like Peter as a pure gentleman towards Zooey, I like Peter even more when he also takes the time to be a dude around Sidney. It makes the character, and his life, more complete.
For more information about I Love You, Man, visit the Internet Movie Database.