DVD Review -- 'I Love You, Man'
Tuesday, August 11, 2009; 12:00 AM
Moviegoers who saw "I Love You, Man" may have left the cineplex with one, single thought on their minds: wow, I could still go for some more Rudd.
That Rudd, of course, is Paul Rudd, the man who turns thirty-something social awkwardness into the stuff of sublime comedy throughout this consistently funny flick, which debuts today on DVD ($29.99) and Blu-ray ($39.99). I mean, who else but Rudd could find poignancy in barfing all over another guy in the middle of poker night, or turn "totes mcgoats" into a catch phrase?
Clearly the people at Paramount Home Entertainment understand their leading man's appeal and have created this DVD's extras accordingly, including extended scenes, a commentary track and outtakes -- including one in which Rudd is completely unable to utter the phrase "city slacka" without breaking down in hysterics -- that are filled with more of the actor's special brand of everyman silliness. (Even Rudd's co-star, Jason Segel, admits to falling under his spell during a making-of featurette: "I'm a heterosexual man through and through," he says, "but that guy is dreamy.")
Of course, Rudd isn't the only reason "I Love You, Man" works. This story of two off-kilter guys (Rudd and Segel) who forge a friendship over bonds both charming (sharing confidences over fish tacos) and disturbing (busting out horrendous dance moves during a Rush concert) succeeds because of smart direction from John Hamburg (who also co-wrote the script) as well as excellent ensemble work from the entire cast, which includes J.K. Simmons, Jon Favreau, Jaime Pressley, Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones. While watching the film, one gets the sense that everyone involved had a good time making it, a fact that the DVD's special features confirm. If the 11-minute gag reel and all those outtakes are any indication, the camaraderie between the characters feels genuine because it actually was.
The commentary track -- in which longtime friends Hamburg, Rudd and Segel chat easily and amusingly about the movie -- also keeps that happy vibe going, even when they're giving each other a hard time. Example: Segel bemoans the fact that he looks fat in one scene, to which Hamburg notes: "Let me just say this, and I say this respectfully: you only have yourself to blame." To which Segal replies: "Actually, time played a cruel trick on me because ... I was set to start this film and not a week beforehand, Wendy's came out with the ultimate Baconator sandwich."
The only major complaint about this DVD is that it could use a few more deleted scenes; only three are included here, though I have to think more excised-but-watchable moments exist somewhere. The six extended scenes, longer versions of interchanges that already play out in the movie, almost compensate for that shortcoming.
That said, it's pretty rare to find a watchable (and rewatchable) Hollywood comedy as endearing as "I Love You, Man," and even rarer to find one that adds even more laughs to the DVD version. So should you rent or buy it? The answer is: yes, definitely. Totes mcgoats.
Best Extended Scene: A few brief jokes about the movie "Chocolat" during "I Love You, Man's" climactic wedding scene only scratched the surface of an extensive, laugh-out-loud back-and-forth between Segel and Rudd about that film and its star, Johnny Depp. Fortunately, we get to see more of the pair's analysis of Depp's career during the DVD's best extended scene. "I hated him so much in 'Don Juan DeMarco,'" Segel says. "I never gave him a second chance. But this time, he's Gilbert Great."