I Love You, Man

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I Love You, Man
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Run Time: 105 Minutes Not for Children

Paul Rudd, Jason Segal and Rashida Jones in DreamWorks Pictures’ “I Love You Man” (2009).

Paul Rudd, Jason Segal and Rashida Jones in DreamWorks Pictures’ “I Love You Man” (2009).

The first 80 minutes of this is as excruciatingly horrible as I had anticipated. Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is getting married. His fiancé, Zooey (Rashida Jones) has a lot of girl friends with whom she shares her intimacies. Peter has no male friends, so he tries to find one. He finally comes across Sydney Fife (Jason Segel). So the first 80 minutes consists of producer-director-writer (with Larry Levin) John Hamburg establishing: first, that Peter is a schlemiel, and, second, showing Peter and Sydney molding a relationship.
This is just what we need; another ignorant, anti-male diatribe that stigmatizes “real men” as boorish dolts, and epicene misfits as the desire. Typical is Barry (Jon Favreau), the husband of one of Zooey’s girl friends, Denise (Jaime Pressley), who is an unsympathetic jerk, as are his poker-playing buddies. But Sydney is equally boorish. He is uncommonly open about everything, including masturbation. He even has a place where he does it, and he explains it in detail to Peter, who is nonplussed. I guess we are supposed to think that this is the way all guys are. Take it from me, I’ve been a guy for many years, and they aren’t. Guys like Sydney simply don’t exist in my milieu. Anybody who acted like Sydney would be shunned because he’s a rude jerk. I don’t know who Hamburg’s friends are but the first 80 minutes of this is a fantasy from outer space. As such, it is agony to sit through. Apparently, Hamburg’s only contact with “real men” is through beer commercials.
The last 25 minutes are tolerable. I actually became involved in the story when Peter and Sydney started appearing to act like real human beings instead of acting like imbeciles.
This movie tries to popularize a term called “man-date.” I’ve never heard of such a thing. In doing research for this review, however, I discovered that a writer named Jennifer Lee invented it for an article she wrote on April 10, 2005 for the New York Times. This is something where two heterosexual men go out together to see if they want to become friends. As long as I’ve been around, I’ve never come across this before. I get together with friends for lunch often but I’ve never ever considered something as loony as this. The movie would have you believe that this is the way straight men act. Not.
The dialogue between Peter and the people he’s approaching is ludicrous. I can’t remember squirming more in a movie than I did during the first 80 minutes.
This should be animated, because it couldn’t be more of a cartoon.

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