Review: I Love You, Man

I Love You, Man
2.5 Lloyds – Not Family-Friendly
Rated R pervasive language, including crude and sexual references.
Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

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A man in search of a best friend.

Engaged to the woman of his dreams, yet uncomfortable with the prospect of not having a best man for his upcoming wedding, a successful real estate agent with no male friends plans a series of man dates in hopes of finding a suitable candidate for the big day. 

Peter Klaven, played by Paul Rudd, is like most other guys. But, when it comes to making friends, he’s always been a bit withdrawn. Up until now, it was never an issue. But when he needs a best man, his search begins. While most of Peter’s man dates are incredibly awkward from the very beginning, the desperate bridegroom is surprised to hit it off with Sydney Fife, played by Jason Segel, on their very first meeting. Sydney is charming, personable and opinionated. Before you know it, he and Peter have become inseparable.

At first, Zooey, the bride to be, was all for it! But, as Peter grows closer to his new “bro” she’s concerned because her groom seems to be drifting away from her. Then, with the wedding closing in and the drama heating up, Peter begins to ponder a means of staying good friends with Sydney, while still remaining true to the woman he loves.

This Movie Had SO Much Potential!

I Love You, Man is really a story exploring the idea and concept of friendship. What does it mean to be a true friend? What do friends do together? What do they share with one another? And in this case, one must always remember – What’s shared in the man-cave, stays in the man-cave. While the subject of friendship is explored in many ways here, this movie falls flat for one simple reason…

The scriptwriter decided to trash up the movie.

In his movie Seven Pounds, Will Smith said he struggled with the idea of doing a bedroom love scene with someone other than his wife. I applaud Will Smith for this. In an interview he said his wife was encouraging and understood his concerns. In the end, Smith said the guiding principle for the scene was what his grandmother used to always say to him – “Don’t do anything that would embarrass me Will.” 

John Hamburg, the director and writer of I Love You, Man should find the same moral compass and apply it to his work. This movie had so much potential, But, instead of really working for the humor, Hamburg decided to trash up the script. In the end, I wonder what his grandmother would say. I have a feeling she would probably be embarrassed. It’s really a shame too. Sometimes movies just come right out of the gate with trashy potty humor. You know the writer didn’t work for the humor and opted for the rude and crude in search of the quick laugh. Such is not always the case with I Love You, Man. There’s some really funny material here. But, in the end, the funny material is over-shadowed with Hamburg’s fascination with the f-bomb and other rude and crude material.

Had it not been for Hamburg’s potty-mouth writing style, this movie could have had a different rating than R. While it might have been a stretch for a PG-13, it certainly could have fallen into the category of for mature audiences who don’t want to hear curse-ladden dialogue throughout a movie. For me, this was a real turn off. When will scriptwriters finally figure out that R rated movies with over the top abusive language, never last long on the big screen?

While I did not appreciate the language,
and firmly believe it could have been left out,
there are some glimmering bright spots in I Love You, Man.

As already mentioned, when Hamburg works for his humor, there’s some really funny material in this flick. Then there’s the cameo appearance of the Canadian rock band Rush! Wow! Now this was great for me! I grew up listening to Rush and it was great to see them on the big screen in this movie. It was also a nice common threaded theme through the movie. The appearance of Rush was the climax of what started in the man-cave, brought to an ultimate conclusion.

It was also nice to see a healthy relationship between two guys portrayed on the big screen. All too often Hollywood tries to push a gay agenda saying you have to be gay to have good guy-friends. Or, guy friends are always rude and crude together. As already mentioned, I Love You, Man is really a movie about friendship, lasting friendship, that transcends any form of trial.

Overall, the script for I Love You, Man holds together well. While there are a few side-stories, at no point in time do they overshadow the main theme of finding a best friend. For that, I do applaud John Hamburg. All he needs to do now is clean up his language, and maybe he can have a real blockbuster on his hands.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.