I have liked Judd Apatow's movies while being pissed off at their "joking" homophobic streak, but I think it's John Hamburg who has made the perfect relationship movie—and it's not centrally about a man and a woman, nor is it gay.
Sydney does a secret-fart play-by-play that would win any straight man's affections.
Just before a too informative toast almost leaves his engagement as toast.
In I Love You, Man, perennial sidekick Paul Rudd is Peter Klaven, a sweet, nebbish realtor who's just popped the question to his girlfriend (a sparkling and confident Rashida Jones) only to discover she and all of her galpals (among them a brassy Jaime Pressly and desperate Sarah Burns) think he's a borderline freak due to his lack of male friends.
Fisting with dad.
Peter's family hammers the point home—his mom (Jane Curtin) can't recall any best buddies he had growing up and his father (J.K. Simmons) announces that among his own two best friends is his younger son Robbie (Andy Samberg). Peter is not the other.
A series of painful "man dates" (one is a screechy-voiced doofus, one—Thomas Lennon—ends their meeting with a clueless French kiss) leaves him no closer to having a buddy, but when brash, plain-spoken Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) crashes an open house he's hosting in an effort to sell Lou "The Incredible Hulk" Ferrigno's mansion, it's like at first sight. The awkward, earnest play dates they set up as they get to know each other are unlike any scenes in any other movies I can think of—two guys trying to be themselves and to reassure each other that he is "the one."
A couple of modern-day warriors.
Needless to say, slapping the bass, a Rush concert and sexual confessions follow. And Sydney has an unpredictable streak.
I don't think I Love You, Man is brilliantly written—it's not that there are so many unforgettable lines. But the charm of the entire cast, the freshness of the concept and a healthy does of improvising makes it feel like a sort of 2009 version of Woody Allen's most brilliant (and far more cerebral) comedies of the 1970s. It feels of the moment, but more like a social document that will be treasured later on rather than becoming hopelessly dated.
Rudd is a sensational leading man—I felt the packed theater falling in love with him even as we watched his on-screen fiancée and her gossipy friends making goo-goo eyes at him.
Giving gay portrayals a total work-out.
All of this is accomplished without any homophobia. Samberg's portrayal of Robbie is done devoid of stereotyping. Sure, he enjoys seducing straight men, but this is presented in a way that has the audience rooting for him—a little gay devil, not someone who's going to hell. Even Lennon's more flamboyant character is funny more as a cuckold ("You're a whore, Peter!" will be repeated forever in my household) than as a queen.
As a bonus, note that an original Saturday Night Live cast member (Curtin) is now playing the mother of a current member (Samberg) and 57-year-old Ferrigno (who looks fucking amazing and amazingly fuckable) is allowed to play himself as a still-in-demand movie star.
I Love You, Man is not a perfect movie—there are some scenes that seemed to have more potential than actual pay-off—but it's several times better than Segel's Forgetting Sarah Marshall and is as perfectly delightful as one of Peter's fave flicks, Chocolat, and twice as sweet.