Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Love You, Man: A Review of Sorts

Why a review two months after a US release? Because it just came out locally, that's why! (And also because any torrent of the movie would most likely be a cinema capture, but that's beside the point.) It's puzzling and a little disappointing that ILYM only has a 7.9 rating on IMDB, because I personally loved it, and easily give it at least an 8, which is 0.1 more. I haven't read any reviews for this movie, partly because I didn't have regular internet access for close to two months, and also because it kind of flew over my head.

A quick look at the movie synopsis, tagline and poster would give most theater-goers a misleading expectation: straight-edge, nice guy (Paul Rudd) (who is in a solid relationship with girlfrend/fiance/wife) befriends loony stranger (Jason Segel). Loony Stranger introduces concept of FUN to Nice Guy, hilarity ensues, bonding occurs, awkward situations abound, conflict is introduced into stable couple's relationship, Nice Guy and Loony fight/fall out, relationship patches over, everybody's friends again. I think that's the longest sentence I've written on this blog! Tangent aside, the formula's as old as Steve Martin and John Candy and Wilson brother. I don't think it's much of a spoiler, as ILYM isn't so much about treading on stereotypes as much as actually going on a journey from start to finish, and actually having a damn good time of it.

It wasn't too long ago after watching Star Trek with my siblings that my brother said, "I can't think of anything I didn't like about it." The same goes for I Love You. Pretty much everything is spot on. The casting, soundtrack, script, direction, cameos. You know how Jason Segel won everyone's hearts with Forgetting Sarah Marshall? Well, prepare to get your hearts won again. Who can resist the potent combination and chemistry of Rashida Jones, Paul Rudd, and Jason Segel? Noone, that's who. Knocked Up and Superbad came close, but the sense of warmth for the characters in those movies isn't as lasting (not to say that they were any less entertaining).

It's good to see Paul Rudd in the spotlight again after Role Models, and Segel in a supporting role after Sarah Marshall. Rudd's actually been around for a long time, playing Alicia Silverstone's older stepbrother in Clueless, and acting in comedy series The State in the 90's. From 2000 onwards, he was in Wet Hot American Summer, Anchorman, and Knocked Up, among others. In other words, he's in the Judd Apatow camp and extended family alongside Segel and Rashida Jones. Rudd and Segel are so completely relatable and believable in ILYM, it's easy to believe that they're really swell people outside of acting (and they probably are). You can't help but like them, and it feels good to root for actors who don't necessarily fall into the mainstream of teen or adult heartthrobs, but who seem like cool guys in real life. And Rashida Jones is awesome as the fiance Zooey, who really just wants the best for her guy, and doesn't fall into regular third wheel tropes. Basically if you're doing a comedy movie, romantic or otherwise, get your leads from Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared alumni. You can't go wrong.

The other supporting roles were pretty great as well. Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel, Andy Samberg, and Lou Ferrigno put in some memorable moments. As for the soundtrack, there was a bit of Spoon, Vampire Weekend, and a whole lotta Rush (which is an improvement over Role Models' KISS). Pretty good mood music, and the montage sequences didn't feel trite at all.

Malaysian public! I urge you to watch this movie. Not just to support good movie makers, but for yourselves! Who knows how long it'll be shown. Catch it while you can, before they cut it out for Transformers 2 and Terminator: Salvation. Get yourself some genuinely good comedy in your system, and keep it there. There's some stuff we can learn from these guys when it comes to writing a good comedy.

Anyway, here is the trailer for The Boat That Rocked! I can't wait for this movie to come out. Phillip Seymour Hoffman! Motherflippin' Rhys Darby!!! NICK FUCKING FROST, people! Check it out, and get hyped.


Basuh Baju said...

I love you man? hmm 3 star.. hw bout angels n demon?

Ezanee said...

So low? That's too bad, man. As for A&D, I have no intention of catching that, sorry :)