Rating:

* * * *

Verdict:

Strong comic cast saves this bromance rom-com

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Paul Rudd has made a career of playing the silly, affable best friend. The guy everyone wants to hang out with. So it's a shock to realise his character Peter Klaven is, well, a bit of a douche. It's clever casting as it makes his cheesy, try-hard persona skin-crawlingly awkward to watch. Peter's not a bad guy - he's actually too nice. Having always tried to be a good boyfriend, he's never bonded with other males. As his gay brother Robbie sums it up: "All hisdude friends fell by the wayside."

Robbie and the rest of Peter's family are the highlight of this film, led by the fantastically droll J.K. Simmons as their father, who takes hilarious delight in embracing his gay son's sexuality.

As the Klavens and his fiance (Jones from

The Office

) set about finding Peter some male friends, this plays like a rom-com in reverse. Instead of the best friend helping his buddy get the girl,

I Love You, Man

sees Peter's fiance help him get a best man.

That's Jason Segal's Sydney Fife. And while the script may have called for him to be a rude, selfish man-child, Segal comes across more as loveable scamp who is impossible to dislike.

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Rudd and Segal's onscreen chemistry is palpable, and combined with some fantastic bit-players, the film delivers easy, if somewhat puerile laughs.

The bromance premise may offer a slight twist on a traditional format, but the plot is all-too-predictable. Fortunately, the strong comic cast saves it from total mediocrity - but not from a groan-inducing ending.

Joanna Hunkin





Cast:

Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, Rashida Jones, Jaime Pressly, Jon Favreau

Director:

John Hamburg

Running time:

105 mins

Rating:

R16 (offensive language & sexual themes)