Editors' pick

I Love You, Man

I Love You, Man movie poster
MPAA rating: R
Genre: Comedy
A groom-to-be (Paul Rudd) finds his best man (Jason Segel) through a series of "man-dates." But, his new buddy turns out to be a handful who doesn't entirely get along with his fiancee (Rashida Jones).
Starring: Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, J.K. Simmons, Jon Favreau, Jane Curtin, Andy Samberg, Jaime Pressly
Director: John Hamburg
Running time: 1:47
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Editorial Review

Paul Rudd is a phone book actor, meaning he's just one of those guys who could stand there and read a phone book and we'd laugh. Just watch him in the first few scenes of "I Love You, Man," when his character, Peter Klaven, listens in on a raunchy conference call between his fiancee, Zooey (Rashida Jones), and her best girlfriends. Or listen as he makes up fake guy-talk when he goes on a first man-date with Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), the shambling Lost Boy whom Peter befriends in the hopes of finding a best man for his wedding. Only Rudd could mine comic gold from standing there and saying things like "joben" and "totes magotes."

After delivering scene-stealing turns in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" Rudd claims the much-deserved spotlight in "I Love You, Man," which in its own endearing way tweaks the very same male-bonding pieties that those movies made a fortune celebrating. (That graphic, girl-centric phone call is just one example.) Peter is that rare creature in American cinema: a man who genuinely likes and respects women. It's the job of Sydney, who lives in a self-described "man-cave" with a steady supply of pot, pornography and Rush records, to make Peter into a "real" man, i.e., a creature entirely without conscience or consideration for others.

It's a thin premise, and "I Love You, Man" features the usual quota of jokes involving masturbation, projectile vomiting and flatulence. But is it worth it? Thanks to Rudd and Segel (and some terrific cameos), totes magotes.

-- Ann Hornaday (March 20, 2009)

Contains pervasive profanity, including crude sexual references.