I Love You, Man (2009)

If there’s ever been a movie that proves that Paul Rudd can make anything watchable, it’s “I Love You, Man.” It’s the type of bro-comedy that sounds great on paper: It’s got two terrific comedy leads, a supporting cast virtually overflowing with comedic talent, and a loose-enough premise that can follow a mainstream formula while also giving its improv-prone cast plenty of opportunities to go for broke. Unfortunately the movie ends being good-enough at best, and that’s a bit frustrating because it should be miles ahead of itself. For starters, the usually reliable Jason Segel is rather forgettable here thanks to a lackluster characterization, and it neuters his usual exuberance and charm. Additionally, despite the aforementioned supporting cast, there isn’t much for them to do, especially poor Rashida Jones, who is stuck in a tiresome naggy girlfriend role that doesn’t give her anything to work with. Jane Curtin, J.K. Simmons and Andy Samberg are similarly wasted, with Samberg in particular looking both lost and bored as Rudd’s bro-y gay sibling (although Thomas Lennon manages to make the most out of his limited screen time as Rudd’s unintended romantic date). Luckily Rudd is in just about every scene and he’s enough of a one-man charm machine that he makes the whole thing watchable, but it’s hard not to notice that there’s a dearth of big laughs across the movie’s 105 minutes.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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