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Bromance hits the silver screen: “I Love You, Man” hits theatres

Cornelius Rogers | Monday, March 23, 2009

There’s a new genre in town, and it’s called “bromantic comedy.”

“I Love You, Man,” one of the first in this genre, opened in theaters this weekend. It combines the light hearted romance typical of a chick flick with the physical humor typical of a “frat pack” movie.

“I Love You, Man” will delight most viewers looking for lots of laughs, because it successfully combines both of these genres by utilizing a cast that is as diverse and fresh as its many jokes.

The plot of the movie centers on Paul Rudd’s dilemma of having no true guy pal. His upcoming wedding forces him to search for a best man, and what ensues is hilarity.

Coming to the foreground of this film are Rudd and Jason Segel (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”). Both actors have usually taken supporting roles in most of their comedies (see “Knocked Up”). Their performances as leads are sure to tickle viewer’s funny bones.

The same cannot be said for Rashida Jones, whose character serves less to deliver punch lines and more to remind us that there is some heterosexuality in this film.

Smaller characters are played by Andy Samberg (sadly not on a boat), J.K. Simmons reprising his role as the father figure (see “Juno”), and Thomas Lennon. Adding to the mix are cameo appearances by Lou Ferrigno (TV’s “Incredible Hulk”) and Canadian rock band Rush.

Many jokes in the film are just as eclectic and fresh as the cast. Visual humor is guaranteed when Jason Segel walks his pug/beagle mix on the beach while wearing Ugg boots. There is also the verbal humor of hearing Paul Rudd’s various accents, many of which sound like a leprechaun.

Elements typical of a romantic comedy are also present, like when Rudd gets on an answering machine and says more than he should.

The film is also not afraid to dabble in the realm of the immature, with jokes about pubic hair, oral sex, and, of course, a gratuitous vomit scene.

However, not all of the jokes in the movie are knee-slappers. The character of the annoying co-worker Tevin (played by Rob Heubel) appears humorous in his first scene, but by the end of the movie, viewers are likely to find him just that: annoying.

The film also has predictable moments. It does not take viewers long to realize that every time Rudd and Segel’s characters are about to part, Rudd will come up with some nonsensical nickname for Segel. But these moments are overlooked in comparison to the many laughs the film delivers.

While “I Love You, Man” has the humor and warm feelings typical of a Judd Apatow film, it has nothing at all to do with Apatow. Instead it is produced, written and directed by John Hamburg, whose writer credits include “Zoolander,” “Meet the Parents,” and “Along Came Polly” (which he also directed).

Viewers who enjoyed Hamburg’s previous work are sure to find that his latest addition does not disappoint. Other viewers who are unfamiliar with this type of comedy may still find something funny in this social satire. “I Love You, Man” says while romance may be tricky, bromance is even harder.