Spring, the season for bromance

by Cap'n Carrot on March 20, 2009 · 2 comments

in Film

i-love-you-man-capI don’t remember exactly when the term bromance was introduced into the lexicon but it seems were stuck with it, at least for the foreseeable future. From the writer/director of Along Came Polly and the writer of Doctor Doolitle 2 comes this tale of a man on the eve of his wedding who realizes he doesn’t have any male friends. Thus hilarity (or Hollywood’s approximation of the concept) ensues. As set-ups go it’s pretty bland (and seems to be cribbing a tad too much from The 40 Year Old Virgin), but I’ll admit I Love You, Man was better than I expected.

After an eight month courtship Peter (Paul Rudd) and Zooey (Rashida Jones) have gotten engaged. Zooey’s friends (Sarah Burns, Jaime Pressley) are pleased with her choice for a husband, but they’re a little concerned with the fact that Peter has no male friends. When Peter realizes his wife’s misgivings he begins a “humorous” search for a best pal that ends in Peter’s discovery of a new friendship with a slightly unbalanced stranger (Jason Segel).

Although the film contains many funny moments there are few big laughs. Part of the trouble is the film tries a bit too hard at pushing rather obvious jokes down our throats. Peter is a goof and mildly socially retarded. We get the joke early on, but the film is relentless in treading over the same material over and over again until its almost impossible to take him seriously.

The plot also contains scenes and segements that range from groan worthy to slightly humorous in-and-of themselves but do little to advance the plot of the film. The worst of these comes from the montage of Peter’s man-dates (including, of course, the annoying guy, the gay misunderstanding, and some pretty disgusting projectile vomiting) which begin to drag long before the friendship the film centers around ever gets going. When Peter meets Sydney (Segel) we’re finally given what feels like a natural scene and I wonder why the writers thought they needed the crap and contraptions we’re forced to sit through in order to get to what is actually worth watching.

i_love_you_man-poster

Of course the film also has to give us the prolonged yet easily resolved third action romantic comedy tension when Zooey becomes jealous of the time Peter is spending with his new friend. Great, we haven’t seen that before.

As a night out at the movies I Love You, Man works fine, even if it’s not all that memorable. You’ll get a few chuckles, see Lou Ferigno put Jason Segel in a sleeper-hold, and then you’ll move on to something else. Keep your expectations low; this isn’t one of those films you walk out laughing and quoting the best lines and moments, but it is one where you can have an okay time. The talent involved on-screen sadly overshadows that of the script and direction, but this time a year you could do far worse.

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  • hack3r

    “The plot also contains scenes and segements that range from groan worthy to slightly humorous in-and-of themselves but do little to advance the plot of the film. The worst of these comes from the montage of Peter’s man-dates (including, of course, the annoying guy, the gay misunderstanding, and some pretty disgusting projectile vomiting) which begin to drag long before the friendship the film centers around ever gets going. When Peter meets Sydney (Segel) we’re finally given what feels like a natural scene and I wonder why the writers thought they needed the crap and contraptions we’re forced to sit through in order to get to what is actually worth watching.”

    It’s called a set up and it does build up the overall story. On top of that it was pure funny so I really don’t see what anybody would have against this kind of thing. In fact, a good number of movies employ this technique. I also think you give them movie too little credit in your quest to be more of a critic than is necessary.

  • http://www.transbuddha.com Cap’n Carrot

    The fact that many other films also rely on an overused convention doesn’t sway me in the least. You may have enjoyed that segment of the film, but I was looking at my watch wondering when the real movie was going to start.

    I enjoyed the actual friendship between the two, and liked the movie for what it was. I just wish I didn’t have to sit through so much excess dumb convention to get to the actual meat of the story. If the film had started with the scene of Rudd meeting Seagal at the open house and spent more time on the actual characters and not antics I would have been far happier.

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