Kevin Klaven (Paul Rudd) hasn't a friend in the world - or so he realizes when he becomes engaged to Zooey (Rashida Jones) and finds he can't come up with a single male buddy to be in his wedding party. The solution? Go out and make some platonic guy friends, even if it means having to rely on your mommy (Jane Curtin) and your gay younger brother (Andy Samberg) to help you do it. Eventually, after a number of faltering attempts, Kevin alights on Sydney (Jason Segel), a mucho macho bundle of testosterone who, like a latter-day Henry Higgins to Kevin's Eliza Doolittle, instructs the awkward lad on the fine art of "being a man." But as with any good teacher/pupil relationship, each side winds up learning a little something from the other before it's all over.
A straight man far more comfortable in the company of women than of men, Kevin emerges as the ultimate metrosexual figure: fastidious in demeanor, sensitive to the needs of others, and courteous to a fault (he even admits to liking "The Devil Wears Prada" in a moment of unguarded weakness). He doesn't really know how to roughhouse it with the boys, and any efforts he makes in that direction inevitably lead to failure. Until our man Sydney steps into the breach to give him a few badly needed pointers, that is.
Smoothly directed by John Hamburg, "I Love You, Man" is a relaxed, breezy and sharply written male-bonding comedy that - miracle of miracles - doesn't play down to its audience (it may be crude at times, but it's rarely childish). The Hamburg/Larry Levin screenplay does a clever job poking fun at the double entendres inherent in any modern-day bromance, though one wishes certain characters - Kevin's family members, in particular - had been allotted a little more in the way of screen time. That being said, the performances are all first-rate, with Rudd and Segel playing to their respective strengths - Rudd's of the tongue-tied, self-effacing Mr. Nice Guy who needs lessons in "manning up," and Segel's of the refreshingly blunt but socially indelicate Man/Child who clearly needs to do some growing up.
There's additional excellent work from J.K. Simmons, Jamie Pressly, Sarah Burns and Rob Huebel, among others.
It's also a bit of a casting coup to get both Jane Curtin from the first generation of SNL players and Andy Samberg from the current one together in the same film. Finally, some unlikely cameo appearances by Lou Ferrigno and the band Rush, all appearing as themselves, add to the spirit of fun that permeates the film.