I Love You, Man

I Love You, Man

This isn't the sort of movie I would have rushed out to catch, but I was in Flagstaff and there was nothing else I wanted to see. That's my official excuse. That said, I Love You, Man is a cute date movie, another in the recent string of foul-mouthed "sensitive male" comedies to come out of the Judd Apatow workshop - except, amazingly, Apatow's name is not associated with this film, despite Apatow regulars Paul Rudd and Jason Segal in the lead roles.

Rudd plays a variation on Steve Carell's naive sweetheart in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but unlike that film and other recent comedies either produced or directed by Apatow, there's no creeping misogyny here. Well, misogyny may be too strong a word, but I always got the sense that Apatow's films tended to see women as mysterious outsiders in the raunchy, fun, buddy-buddy world of men. It's ironic, then, that I Love You, Man should be so female-friendly, when its very story is about a real estate agent (Rudd) who, just a couple of months before his wedding, needs a best man and realizes that he doesn't have any male friends, so he hooks up with the dude of dudes (Segal).

I haven't liked Rudd in his recent comedies, but as I too am a man who has trouble relating to "typical guys" and who prefers the company of women, I identified with his character, even if the running joke of him becoming tongue-tied while trying to speak in "dude argot" quickly runs out of steam.

Segal plays the role that Apatow might have given to Seth Rogen (and oh how nice it is to see a comedy without the ubiquitous and increasingly tiresome Rogen or Jonah Hill!) but hits the right blend of worldly and loserish.

I'm happy to report that I Love You, Man keeps its dignity and doesn't rely on stale gags, stock characters, or a mean-spirited attitude to get its laughs. It feels fresh, and though it's no classic, fresh is enough.