I’m an unapologetic fan of the post-Apatow fallout in American romantic comedies. Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, et al are, in my mind the best and funniest thing that has happened to mainstream comedy in American cinema in years. However, most of these movies (with the notable exception of the unassailable Superbad) seem to end up awfully unsubversive in their endgame. At the end of the day everything comes to its apogee in conjugal or coital bliss (consider if you dare, the abysmally stupid Zack and Miri Make a Porno).
Not so with the latest, and to my mind the best, of these movies, I Love You Man. Rightly described as a bromance, this movie cuts against the usual grain of romantic comedies by focusing on the necessity of friendship in the scope of human flourishing. The oddly subversive message of the movie is that you can have the most perfect smoking hot girlfriend in the world, but you’re wedding day is going to suck and you’re going to feel incomplete if can’t share that experience with a true friend. In a wonderful twist, the movie cuts against the grain of the idolization of marriage and sex in contemporary culture by showing its emptiness, indeed, its pathetic character if it is not shaped and situated within sustaining friendships.
And its the funniest movie I’ve seen in ages.