Monday, March 16, 2009

Still kind of a Baldwin

I saw an advanced screening of I Love You, Man about a month ago. I probably should have written this review back then and saved it until now. But no, I gotta work off memory; the problem is that it's kind of cute, but forgettable. I remember thinking that its greatest strength is also its weakness: it coasts, perhaps too heavily, on the charm of actor Paul Rudd.

In the 1995 movie Clueless, his character was described as "kind of a Baldwin," back when the Baldwin acting brothers were still popular, thin, and attractive. Those days are gone, but in a way, Paul Rudd is a lot like the Alec Baldwin of today: a zany comic actor unafraid to make a buffoon of himself. Prime example: the recent Vanity Fair funnyman photo shoot, where he nails Tom Ford.

As for the movie, the premise is nice. Rudd plays a character who's recently engaged, and that creates an unusual problem: he needs a best man, and he has no male friends. For whatever reason, he's never made it a priority. So he follows the advice of his family and puts himself out there on the market for a hetero buddy. It's harder than he realizes, until he meets one guy (Jason Segel) for which the friendship forms organically. Complications arise as he ends up wanting to spend more time with his new guy friend than with his fiancée (Rashida Jones).

Rudd and Segel are asked to improvise a bit too much. At first, this is fine, but after a while it gets a little grating. For example, the guys bond in part over their love of the band Rush (a common symptom of men that age), having jam sessions that last all afternoon. When Rudd's character tries to explain it later, he says he was just "slapping the bass," referring to his guitar. He says it a few more times, gesturing like a goofy air musician, and you laugh a little. Then he repeats it in later scenes, maybe 60 times, and it becomes awkward, testy humor. How much more can we endure?

As the trailer suggests, the movie makes good use of Lou Ferrigno as himself, and has a stunning array of comedic supporting actors. You'll recognize almost everybody. And there are some interesting twists and turns. But you may come to the conclusion that it's a bit underwritten.

12 comments:

ZenDenizen said...

He has just gotten more attractive over the years... I wish I made it a priority to see him on or off Broadway at some point.

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freemovies said...

It is kind of cute movie. I saw some scene of this film and was impressed. I wish I watch this movie once again..

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