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I Love You, Man (2009)

by on 2010/04/03

On the day Paul Rudd was reduced to a gibbering castrato, we stood in awe and wept.

What happened to you in this film, Paul Rudd? I loved you in absolutely everything, I was drawn to this movie because of you. I then spent the whole of this movie in open-mouthed shock — until the credits rolled on this wobbly, painful filmic emasculation.

I Love You, Man promised to take me into the mysterious world of male friendships complete with all the beer guzzling, sex-talking, masturbation station-building, and frank and open farting that these guy pairings (apparently) entail. Peter (Paul Rudd) is introduced to Sydney (Jason Segel) after a series of disjointed comic misunderstandings (read: sad-making gay jokes). Then whammo, Syndey enters the picture and Peter’s eyes (just below his plastered Ken doll hair) are opened to the grand world of male.

Sydney’s aggressive maleness is (apparently) an act of sedition in an uptight world. He wears Bermuda shorts and ratty t-shirts, urinates against buildings, yells, refuses to pick up after his dog named Anwar Sadat, and even more horribly, listens to Rush a Canadian progressive rock band that emits a sonic frequency that only males can hear and enjoy.

Despite the Rush (which is a big hurdle to overcome), Segel brings the film its rare moments of funny. Most notable and amusing is Segel’s first appearance in the movie where we learn that open houses are a great place to pick up desperate cougars and guys don’t fart in front of girls they are trying to impress. Hmm… I’m sure my notepad is around here somewhere….

Though I realize I’m not really selling it with these examples, I found myself wondering why a guy as cool as Sydney would bother with Peter.

When Paul Rudd’s manhood was removed in pre-film rehearsals, something also happened to his comic delivery, customary sardonic charm and overall coherence. I felt moment of eye-watering pity for the hapless Peter when I watched him jabbering nonsensically at his new guy pal Sydney.

But the film’s failure wasn’t all Mr. Rudd’s fault. Even Jon Favreau was criminally reduced and misused in this funny-sounding but poorly-executed movie.

All this being said, I love Paul Rudd too much to acknowledge this film’s existence any further. Please refer to Mr. Renders’ excellent review of 40-Year-Old-Virgin and check out the film for a true showcase of Mr. Rudd’s talents both as a comedic actor and male-type person.

Mostly, I Love You, Man made me glad to be a girl. Now let’s never speak of it again.

* *

Rated R for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references.

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