On a typically beautiful sunny afternoon in Los Angeles, real estate agent Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) hunches over his desk, trying to stay out of sight from the nosy co-workers who sit around his immaculate cubicle. With sweat protruding from his forehead, he nervously tries to make a phone call with a free hand that's shaking with fear.
The call connects, but the person on the other end does not answer. So Peter proceeds to leave a message — or at least, he tries to while stumbling over his words with the kind of rambling chatter that goes along with reaching out to his date the day after their night out on the town.
You'd think he was making that awkward call to a woman if he wasn't already engaged to one — his beautiful fiancée, Zooey (Rashida Jones). But since their wedding is right around the corner, and since he doesn't have any male friends close enough to be his Best Man, he needs to find someone fast.
Enter Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), a carefree bachelor who crashes open houses in an effort to meet lonely divorcees. The disheveled Sydney is the polar opposite to Peter's clean and tidy demeanor, and after their first man-date together, they soon bond during long walks along Venice Beach.
Think of Peter and Sydney as an "Odd Couple" for the 21st Century. Or better yet, think of their romantic — or rather, bromantic -- comedy as one of the funniest movies in a long time. Directed by John Hamburg, and co-written by Hamburg with Larry Levin, "I Love You, Man" has a delightful, good-natured vibe that goes hand-in-hand with its raunchy, R-rated humor.
After hitting their stride with recent movies either produced or directed by Judd Apatow, Paul Rudd ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin") and Jason Segel ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall") both strike comic gold with "I Love You, Man." Their chemistry is infectious, and they're obviously having a blast with the witty banter co-written by Hamburg ("Meet the Parents") and Levin.
But the supporting players also make their mark, starting with Sarah Burns as Rashida Jones' best friend who's still single (and obviously very bitter about it), and Andy Samberg as Rudd's confident gay brother. Thomas Lennon is also very funny as Rudd's earlier man-date, while Jamie Pressly and Jon Favreau are downright hysterical as their married friends who love to hate each other.
"I Love You, Man" has everything going for it: a heartwarming story, a 1 hour and 45 minute running time and hilarious jokes that moviegoers will be quoting for years. And by capturing the beauty of Venice Beach, Chinatown and Silver Lake, the city of Los Angeles has never looked better on screen. And then there are Rudd and Segel — two very funny actors who you can't help but love, man.
Verdict: SEE IT!
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