Starring: Paul Rudd, Thomas Lennon, J.K. Simmons, Sydney Fife, Rashida Jones
Runtime: 105 mins. Reviewed in Nov 2011
Trailers were quite misleading in indicating what this comedy was about. It is the story of a man about to get married who finds that he has no men friends, no one, apart from his brother, that he could ask to be his best man at his wedding. His fiancee and her friends are concerned, so they all urge him to make some male friends.
This is a very amusing comedy. It is well-written, quite funny at times. It is also very well acted, especially by Paul Rudd who tends to be cast as the friend rather than the hero. He can be both funny and serious and has fine timing for repartee and for facial expressions.
It should be said that, in the recent tradition of Jud Apatow comedies, it begins with the touch of raunchiness (this time in the dialogue) but mellows as it goes on and finishes with an emphasis on moral values, especially commitment. Rudd has appeared in several Apatow comedies as has co-star, Jason Segel, who wrote and acted in the 2008 comedy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
We have a sympathy for Rudd’s character, real estate agent, Peter Klaven, who has a big opportunity for success in selling Lou Ferigno’s house (jokes about The Incredible Hulk and a guest appearance by Ferigno himself). After some internet matching attempts (including a funny cameo by Thomas Lennon (who was so eccentric in 17 Again) as a prim closet gay), Peter has made little headway with friendship. He is also goaded by his father, J.K. Simmons, who is a master at outlandish dead-pan (and who could have had some more funny speeches).
At an open house at Ferigno’s, he encounters a large, casual man, Sydney Fife (Segel), who attends open house inspections for the spread. They get talking, click and soon become friends. But, Sydney’s way of doing things is more than a touch bohemian but Peter finds it quite liberating and is soon spending more and more time with Sydney. Sydney is one of those extraverts who doesn’t know what he thinks until he says it, a blurter – which is the final joke of the film during the final credits which should not be missed.
Needless to say, there are some crisis moments, especially with Peter’s fiancee, Zooey (Rashida Jones) but, also needless to say, all’s well that ends well.
The director is John Hamburg who wrote, amongst others, the screenplays for Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers and Zoolander.
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