Bright Lights Film Journal

Another Brick in the Bro-hood

By now, if you haven’t seen I Love You, Man, you probably aren’t going to. Suffice to say, it’s quite funny, better, in my opinion, than Superbad, and exactly like Superbad in that it ends with two totally hetero dudes, Peter (Paul Rudd) and Sidney (Jason Segal) telling each other, well, “I love you, man.” Once again we’re in Hollywood’s La-La La-La land, where it’s perfectly all right for guys to love each other as long as they’re not gay. And also (of course) it’s perfectly all right to be gay, because Peter’s brother Robbie (Andy Stamberg) is gay and apparently so irresistible that he only sleeps with straight men.

It’s probably a bit churlish to point out that Robbie does not act gay at all, or to note that we never actually see him touching another man, or to note that only character in the film who does act gay is, of course, a figure of fun. But I will point out that the only black person in the film is the minister presiding over the wedding, appearing for about 45 seconds of screen time, and who appears to be about twenty shades lighter than our President. But the kicker came after the flick let out: as a 97 percent white crowd streamed out of I Love You, Man, a 99.9 percent black crowd streamed into Obsessed, hot to see Beyoncé slap the shit out a white girl. Women’s lib? Not a problem. Gay lib? No sweat. Racial integration? We’ll get back to you.

I Love You, Man takes R-rated comedies to a new level of chasteness. There’s plenty of projectile vomiting, but absolutely no sex at all. I kept waiting for someone to rip sexy Denise’s clothes off (surely the film wanted me to) but that never happens. Also, a perfectly good plot point, Peter’s fiancé, Zooey (Rashida Jones) won’t give him head, was wasted. The film could have ended with a close-up of a smiling Pete, followed by a close-up of an equally smiling but obviously full-mouthed Zooey, followed by the topper when Zooey swallows. But would anyone listen to me? Does anyone ever listen to me?