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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Putting the romance in bromance

    A good comedy cast is not so hard to find these days: simply line a dart board with pictures of the collective players from Judd Apatow recent projects then let the darts fly. “”I Love You, Man,”” the newest arrival in the seemingly endless string of 18+ romantic comedies is no exception to this rule, casting Paul Rudd (“”Role Models””) and Jason Segel (“”Forgetting Sarah Marshall””) as the title “”men”” with an awkward buddy-buddy chemistry that can only be described as bromantic.

    If you’ve seen pretty much anything touched by Seth Rogen, then the plot arc in “”I Love You, Man”” will come as no surprise. Rudd plays Peter Klaven, who proposes to the love of his life, the beautiful Zooey (Rashida Jonesð – you know, Karen from “”The Office””), within the first minute of the film. Unlike most of the romances in this vein, the relationship between Peter and Zooey is an enviable – the conflict, though, is that romantic old Pete has spent so much time learning how to please women throughout his life that he has no real guy friends to speak of. So, Pete has a fiancée but no best man – whatever will he do? He’ll take a page from the romantic comedy field survival guide and struggle through an awkward montage of “”man dates,”” that’s what! After these attempts at stoking a casual friendship ends in tears, Pete meets Sydney Fife (Segel) by chance at an open house, and the bromance ensues.

    “”I Love You, Man”” gets off to a rocky start by moving quickly through Peter’s engagement, but about the time the man dates begin and the slew of comedic cameos charge onscreen (including Thomas Lennon from “”Reno 911″” and J.K. Simmons from “”Thank You For Smoking’s””) the ragtag cast carries the film expertly though a predictable plot and sometimes shamefully vulgar script. Paul Rudd rarely gets to be a leading man, but his sympathetically awkward portrayal of a hetero dude trying to build a relationship with another hetero dude is the kind of pure comedy that Ben Stiller would kill to pull off. His failed attempts to provide his new BFF with a nickname are particularly inspired. Segel, on the other hand, is blunt, irreverent and sociopathic in just the perfect proportion to offset Rudd’s starchy gracelessness, making scenes where the two jam out erratically to Rush’s greatest hits or sing in tandem on Sydney’s motor scooter a comic sight to behold.

    Though the plot is a no-brainer and you’ll predict the ending by the opening credits, “”I Love You, Man”” provides an interesting new take on the romantic comedy trend, balancing romance and bromance, awkwardness and irreverence. Whether you go with your bros or your girls, there’s something charming in the dysfunctional ensemble cast and profuse vulgarity of yet another inappropriate comedy for everyone.

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