30 March 2009 | Quinoa1984
the plot isn't what works- it's all about actors, timing, awkward pauses, realistic dialog
I Love You, Man may feel like another Apatow company production, but it's mostly because some of its "stock" company players (I put quotes as it's both a loose term and just about right) like Paul Rudd and Jason Siegel. They give the air of using the screenplay as the easiest of diving boards into just shooting-the-hell-of-it with one another as two friends. Rudd plays a guy about to get married and is embarrassed to find out, from all those around him more than anything, that he doesn't have many, or really any, true friends. He meets Siegel at an open house for Lou Ferrigno (he's a real estate agent and Ferrigno fills the oddball cameo choice, it's a great choice though), and the two hit it off as a "bromance" develops.
It's this "bromance" that makes I Love You, Man a little interesting as a double-edged romantic comedy. It's already about Rudd and his to-be played by Rashida Jones, their little moments of fun and their arguments too (there's a cute running gag involving Rudd's imitations of the band Rush sounding like an Irishman), but then it's also got plenty of innuendo to this being really about the guys, how Siegel gets attached to Rudd in that way that surely isn't gay but is more than just casual acquaintance stuff (see his "investment" plan unfold). But truth be told it's not even this that makes I Love You, Man so funny.
Rudd and Siegel are simply funny guys, but naturally so; there's a new trend to put a somewhat straight face on gross out gags in these movies, Apatow or its spin-off groups (one can equate it to the good rip-offs of Tarantino in the 90s to a certain extent), and it works very well here. It's like a sweet blending of Curb Your Enthusiasm awkwardness (if, of course, nowhere near the genius of that, especially with story) and some of the low-brow Adam Sandler stuff and joyfully useless banter and non-jock male bonding. It's not any better or lessor than recent stuff from Siegel and Rudd; you could watch this with either Forgetting Sarah Marshall or Role Models and be satisfied about the same. Again, plot is not at all the strong suit, but if you just want some cleverly obvious comedy dialog it's a good detour.
At the least, we get one of the funniest lines of the year, or just in years, near the very end: "I love you... Broseph Goebbels!"