I Love You, Man

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Directed by John Hamburg. Starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Jane Curtin, and J.K. Simmons. Rated R.

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Just as we thought the "bromantic comedy" had overstayed its welcome, the genre reaches its high point with writer-director John Hamburg's best film yet. The subtext is finally the text — it's right there in the title. It delivers an absolutely complete, fully realized, delightfully novel redo of the hoariest of forms: the meet-cute, love-at-first-sight, break-up-and-make-up, racing-to-the-altar slapstick weepy that's been a staple of cinema since the invention of cinema. And its arrival was inevitable. You might be surprised to find Judd Apatow's name absent from the credits, but I Love You, Man bears his indelible, now-inescapable stamp: from Jason Segel, who's been playing a slovenly spastic Rush fan since Freaks and Geeks, the touchstone for this universe, to Paul Rudd, Apatow's better-looking alter ego, to John Hamburg, who directed Segel's first man-on-man hug during his three-episode run on Apatow's Undeclared. So now the circle is complete and at the end of the line — unless Segel, Rudd, and Seth Rogen are willing to do gay porn.

 
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