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DVD Review: I Love You, Man

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Written by Caballero Oscuro

I Love You, Man sounds like a bro-medy from the Apatow school of laughs, so it’s somewhat surprising to find that he’s not its creative force. Instead, writer/director John Hamburg holds the reins here, and if that name leaves you scratching your head you’re not alone. Turns out Mr. Hamburg has writing credits on such yuk-fests as Zoolander and the Meet the Parents trilogy (yes, including next year’s Little Fockers), and was the writer/director behind the poorly received Along Came Polly. His comedy stylings give this film a more conservative and sweet approach than might be expected, which works to the film’s benefit.

Paul Rudd stars as a straight-laced yuppie type on the verge of marriage to his girlfriend (played by Rashida Jones). He’s completely happy with his life until his fiancée’s friends point out that he has no male friends, making him seem like an oddball and forcing him to reevaluate his priorities. This leads him to begin a search for male companionship and a potential best man for his wedding, which initially leads into an inevitable gay encounter and other poor matches before he discovers what appears to be a perfect friend candidate played by Jason Segel. Of course this being a movie, things are not entirely as they seem, and the ensuing actions as they try to find common ground lead to most of the film’s biggest laughs.

Surprisingly, Segel’s character is a fairly decent match for Rudd’s, so what could have been an over-the-top exploration of an impossible friendship instead becomes a fairly sweet tale of two characters learning about each other and reaffirming their budding friendship. There’s friction with the fiancée, but even that isn’t played up too much. There’s barely any gross-out humor, the language is far from objectionable, so in short this is a mainstream comedy confection with no sharp edges. Rudd and Segel seem a bit straight-jacketed and subsequently underutilized compared to their typical film roles, so it’s a bit of a letdown for fans of their work looking for their unique talents, but they’re both good sports and completely convincing in their roles.

The DVD and Blu-ray contain a standard but sizeable selection of bonus features that include deleted and extended scenes, gag reel, and a making of featurette. I Love You, Man is available on August 11th, 2009.

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