I Love You, Man (2009)

Rated: R for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references.
Length: 105 minutes
Grade: BDBB+=B
Budget: Unknown, maybe $15 million?
Box Office: $ million (71 U.S., 19 Intl., DVD)

Written by: Larry Levin (Dr. Dolittle 1+2, and some TV) and John Hamburg (Meet the Fockers, Zoolander, meet the Parents)
Directed by: John Hamburg (Along Came Polly and some TV)
Starring: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, JK Simmons, Jaime Pressly, Jon Favreau, with just enough Thomas Lennon to deserve mentioning it.
About to be married to the girl of his dreams, a moderately successful LA real estate agent starts doubting himself when he is forced to realize he has no male friends. So he actively tries to find a guy to be his best friend, which eventually causes some tensions with his fiancée.

Entertainment Value: B
Even though this deserves a B, I was disappointed. What I still don’t understand is why they decided to make a movie starring Paul Rudd (who is hilariously funny) in which he plays a guy who isn’t funny, but rather just awkward. I expected this to be fantastic, and it was merely good, which was a letdown. However, even though he’s only present for about three minutes total, Thomas Lennon once again steals the show, just like for 17 Again.

Superficial Content: D
Drugs/Alcohol B, Sex/Nudity B, Violence B, Language F
Language is the only real issue here, including (as the MPAA rightly noted) lots of crude references. There’s a lot of crude talk about homosexuality and sex jokes, but there’s no nudity and I think only one or two scenes of people in bed. There’s some drinking and drunkenness, one scene of vomiting, and some physical gag comedy with people getting hurt. Still, language and the content of that language is enough to justify the R. Also, the DVD opens with an R-rated promo for Road Trip: Beer Pong, just so you aren’t surprised.

Significant Content: B
There’s something weird about a guy who doesn’t have any male friends, but there’s also something weird about a guy who continues to live as if he’s single even when he’s married. Sometimes friends will do things you don’t like and cause disruptions in your life, but that’s just part of the nature of having friends. Finding a good friend can be difficult, but having one makes you into a better you.

Artistic/Thought Value: B+
The concept here is actually quite simple. Instead of a movie about a guy with lots of buddies who finds a woman who then interferes with his life, this is about a guy with a great woman who finds a man-friend that interferes with his life. In other words, they’ve taken the typical comedy-romance and inverted it into a comedy-bromance. As such, it’s very well done.

Discussion Questions:
~Is there something unhealthy about a man or a woman who doesn’t have close same-gender friends? What does it say about a person who doesn’t have friends? Is it sinful to not have friends?
~Have you ever had trouble finding friends? Do you think there’s anything weird about using traditional dating techniques and methods (such as the Internet) to find same-sex friends?
~In what ways does Sidney help Peter become a better man? In what ways does Peter help Sidney? How have your friends helped you develop in your life? How has your spouse or your romantic relationships helped you develop? Are they different?
~Why was Zooey so bothered by Peter telling intimate secrets to Sidney even though she so clearly shared that stuff with her girlfriends?
~Do you think it’s ever appropriate to tell your friends things you wouldn’t tell your spouse?
~Discuss Barry and Denise’s relationship. Does it work? Do they seem happy? Do they love each other? How is honesty both about how they feel and what they want a part of their marriage?
~What do you think of Oswald’s treatment of Robbie, especially his participation in the gay bowling team?
~What stereotypes are present in this movie, and what ones are violated?
~Consider the scene where Doug confronts Peter and Sidney while trying on tuxes. Would that scene have been funny without the profanity? Is profanity always wrong?
Overall Grade: B
Not as funny as I expected, but still funny enough to be worth watching. Skip the deleted scenes and extras, there’s nothing there that didn’t deserve to get cut from the final version.

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