Early Reaction: Paul Rudd's I Love You, Man - Comedy Gold!
by Alex Billington
December 24, 2008
When it comes to comedies these days, I've grown tired of the typical stupid humor that American audiences seem to enjoy so much. Maybe it's just me, but I don't find myself laughing at the same things that I used to. So when a comedy comes along that actually has me laughing in the theater, it's worth mentioning. I Love You, Man is just that, a male-centric comedy about best friends starring two of the best comedians around. Like most of Judd Apatow's films (which this isn't), this relies on smart dialogue and the strength of its actors rather than stupid physical humor or other unrealistic and outrageous occurrences. Is it already the best comedy of 2009? Not necessarily, but until I find myself laughing again, it definitely earns the title.
A few weeks ago we debuted the first trailer for I Love You, Man and just last week Paramount held a special screening of the film on their lot in Hollywood. They did this because they believe very strongly in the film, which is always a good sign, and have given us the early approval to talk about it further. I don't think a formal review is necessary, especially considering most people won't even see it until next March, but at least I can talk about why I prefer the kind of humor in I Love You, Man over other films like Yes Man or Four Christmases. And if that'll make sure this stays on your radar until March, then I'll be satisfied.
Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are the keys to the success of ILYM (as I'm going to call it). Not only are they perfectly cast, but it's the way they effortlessly bring a wonderful realistic humanity to their characters and the way they deliver their lines that makes the movie so damn funny to watch. Rudd takes on the role of the guy who has never really had any real male friends his whole life - you probably already know the type. Segel is the lazy, casual male friend that he meets and tries to establish a friendship with so that he can find a best man for his wedding. ILYM is literally a flip fop of the typical romantic comedy - instead of a guy trying to fall in love with a girl, he already has the girl, he's just trying to find another guy to be his best friend.
For reasons I can't even fully explain, I find Jason Segel to be one of the funniest comedic actors in Hollywood at the moment. Maybe it's just because he plays such a real guy, as if he's literally just portraying himself on screen. While normally it might not be a good thing to say that Segel doesn't need to put in a lot of actual effort to pull off a very likable character, it works because he is already very likable in real life and just fits the role so well. Just as with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Segel becomes that character that almost every guy can relate to (or that every guy knows someone just like). That attachment is what takes ILYM from just another comedy to something that audiences, including myself, will end up loving.
If you saw either Yes Man or Four Christmases this holiday season, then do yourself a big favor and see I Love You, Man when it hits theaters in March. I'm saying that because if you thought either of those looked funny enough to see in theaters, then I'm certain you'll love ILYM as well. I'm also saying this because I honestly really enjoyed it, especially in comparison to those two comedies, since they're the only other comedies that I've seen in the last few months. And I hope that audiences can start to finally understand and appreciate smarter humor, rather than the typical stupid stuff that Hollywood churns out all too often. At the very least, you'll value your own friendships even more by the time you walk out of the theater.
There's a lot to love about ILYM: from Jason Segel to Paul Rudd to SNL's Andy Samberg to Lou Ferrigno's hilarious cameo to Jon Favreau's appearances to Rudd's adorable fiance Rashida Jones. Paramount has one of next year's best comedies sitting in their lap and I'm already anxious to see everyone else fall in love with it just as I have. Be sure not to miss it, as I know everyone else will certianly enjoy all that it has to offer.