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I Love You Man

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.

6 Comments

  1. David_notacynic wrote:

    “Knocked up” has made me wary of the “post-Apatow” fallout, as you dub it. Good to know this one falls in the other category (Superbad, Pineapple Express).

    I am glad to see someone else who is theologically “attuned” finds Superbad of some worth. I have fallen in many a battles defending its hilarity (and redeemably hilarious). I don’t feel all alone.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 10:18 am | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:

    Actually I think Superbad is one of the best movies ever made about the nature of friendship. And the most hilarious.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  3. David_notacynic wrote:

    Absolutely… and without dignifying all the inane and raunchy ways a friend will support the other.

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  4. adamsteward wrote:

    Great, way to go see it without me, ass-hat.

    Sorry though, Punch Drunk Love is the best thing to ever happen to the romantic comedy.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 8:29 am | Permalink
  5. Halden wrote:

    I will definitely go see it again. I’ll let you know.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink
  6. I am a very open-minded person when it comes to movies. I’ll sit through the worst of movies just to give the film makers their fair shake. It’s too bad I did sit through the terrible film you laud, Superbad.

    I think it can only be described as a “comedy” because it wouldn’t hold up as a drama.

    I’m pretty sick of all these Apatow (and inspired) films. They’re mostly lousy, and it seems like a contest to see how to out gross (not in profits) the previous crap.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

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