Pig love

Paul Rudd mans up in sweet, low-calorie comedy

I Love You, Man
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Rated: R
Cast: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Sarah Burns, Jaime Pressly
Director: John Hamburg
WorkNameSort: I Love You, Man
Our Rating: 3.00

The trend started by writer-director Judd Apatow (whom the gods of criticdom have mandated must be mentioned at least once in every review of modern comedy) ' raunchy frat comedy commingling with sincere romance ' continues to attract that coveted new comedy demo: women. Undeclared alum John Hamburg, in his new directorial gig, I Love You, Man, ratchets up the 'awwâ?� factor even higher. How do I know for sure? Because that sound, the exact tone of a woman's heart melting, rang throughout the theater like a Greek chorus of puppies and ice cream.

Most of the credit goes to Paul Rudd, long a solid romantic-lead contender who's never quite made it off the bench. Rudd's puffy, aw-shucks real estate agent, Peter Klaven, tends lovingly to his new fiancee, Zooey (the radiant Rashida Jones), with root-beer floats for her girlfriends and a non-threatening sense of relative security. Peter is head-over-heels for his woman; perhaps too much so, according to Zooey herself. He needs friends and a life of his own or he'll end up suffocating her.

After a series of 'man-dates,â?� he meets the one: sloppy Venice Beach investment banker Sydney Fife (Jason Segel, looking more comfortable onscreen with each new role). They bond over their love of Rush, and Sydney's patience with Peter in all matters dude goes a long way. But will they become too close for comfort?

That last question is obligatory in a film like this, and Hamburg does give it some play. But these are some of the smartest comedic figures out there ' they know full well how tedious the formula can get. To that end, the film takes a bold step: It doesn't make Zooey a shrill, insecure downer, or require Sydney to take Peter down the road to divorce, or forbid Peter from being upfront about everything going on in his situation, thus taking the age-old 'misunderstood commentâ?� thing out of the equation. In other words, the filmmakers studied Roger Ebert's decades-running condemnation of the 'idiot plotâ?� and watched their step accordingly.

This measured approach is a nice change of pace, but I Love You, Man doesn't really have an alternative means of inserting the drama. What that leaves us with is a friendly, often hilarious male-bonding pic that shares some qualities with Peter himself: good-natured but slightly toothless and, in the end, forgettable.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.