How can you not be down with Paul Rudd? His career renaissance is one of the best parts about comedies in the 21st century, and since The 40-Year-Old Virgin he’s been an actor you can count on to just take it home. A lot of this rebirth has to do with his great turn in Wet Hot American Summer (a film that helped launch a number of talents, like Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Banks), but audiences seem to have fallen in love with him all over again. As well they should. And with I Love You, Man and Role Models he even gets to headline films, though paired with another comic actor. My review of I Love You, Man after the jump.
I Love You, Man has Rudd as Peter Klaven, who’s about to marry Zooey (Rashida Jones), but as they set their date and think about their future, it becomes apparent that Peter doesn’t have a lot of male friends. And so he gets set up on a number of man-dates, until he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segal). From there the two become friends, until third act troubles force them apart.
The joke of the film is that this is a love story between men, a “bro-mance” as it was odiously labeled. And because it’s about friendship, the stakes are much, much lower, though the structure is somewhat predictable. As such it’s a casual sort of film. And after watching it, I Love You, Man doesn’t leave much of an impression other than a passing sense of quality. You’re not offended, but it’s very minor. But there are so many ringers in this film it’s impressive. Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel, Jay Chandrasekhar, Jerry Minor, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Thomas Lennon, Joe La Truglio, David Wain, Andy Samberg, Jane Curtin, and David Krumoltz all show up, many with nothing to do – though all bring a couple good beats in their moments. And that’s not to mention J.K. Simmons, Jon Favreau, and Jamie Pressly. Wait, I just did.
As directed by John Hamburg, it’s a solidly made film, but it also feels like a really good pitch that has no great story, and I don’t know if there’s a killer instinct here. There’s a great cast making a film about late male friendship, but men becoming friends really doesn’t have a lot of inherent drama, excepting by making it a safer version of a love story. I guess it’s good they avoid some stupid mistakes, like making Segal a Single White Female or something, but it’s a mellow film.
Paramount presents the Blu-ray of the film in widescreen (1.78:1) and in 5.1 Dolby True HD. It’s a comedy, so don’t expect much in terms of rocking out. The film comes with a commentary by Segal, Rudd and Hamburg, which has some good goofing on Pace Picante salsa (“New York City?” “Get a rope”), a making of (17 min.), “Extras” (23 min.), which are nine extended riffing scenes from the film, which is then complimented by six extended scenes (13 min.), three deleted scenes (3 min.), and a gag reel (11 min.) The red band trailer is included, as is at least one Easter Egg of a grandmother riding a sybian.