I Love You, Man
by Jef Burnham
Now available on DVD from Paramount Home Video.
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It seems every other film is about a guy who can’t seem to talk to women. For whatever reason, the words won’t come out, and if they do, it’s a garbled mess; and it’s usually funny, but it’s nothing new. What I Love You, Man offers audiences is the atypical story of a man who can’t talk to other men. It was a refreshing twist, and helmed by John Hamburg (Safe Men, Along Came Polly) with Paul Rudd (of some 50% of all major comedies in the past decade) and Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother) in the lead roles I Love You, Man is easily my pick for best film of the first half of 2009.
Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) has always devoted himself to his girlfriends, and when he gets engaged to his girlfriend Zooey, it comes to his attention that he hasn’t any friends to be his groomsmen, let alone best man. Peter goes on a series of disastrous man-dates before meeting Sidney Fife (Jason Segel), who Peter desperately wants to befriend, but is unable to talk with other dudes—at one point, he inexplicably nicknames Sidney, “Jobin.”
The DVD has about all the special features you’d hope for, which is to say, lots of unseen footage Rudd and Segel being hysterical. There is an 11-minute gag reel, 3 deleted scenes, 23 minutes of alternate takes of dialogue, and a slew of extended scenes, adding up to nearly an hour of bonus footage, often as funny as the bits used in the final cut of the film. A 17-minute “making of” featurette sports interviews with the cast and crew, including costar Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk himself) and Jon Favreau, whose film Iron Man was pulling in viewers by the millions while he played a supporting role in I Love You, Man.
There is also a hilarious feature-length commentary with writer/director/producer Hamburg and stars Rudd and Segel. One of the highlights is during a scene where Segel looks decidedly larger in some shots than other shots from a later reshoot. Segel reveals that this resulted from the Wendy’s down the street from his place getting the Baconator cheeseburger two weeks before they shot.
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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