I Love You, Man

Theatrical release poster

Directed by John Hamburg
Produced by Donald De Line

John Hamburg

Screenplay by John Hamburg

Larry Levin

Story by Larry Levin
Starring Paul Rudd

Jason Segel Rashida Jones Andy Samberg J. K. Simmons Jane Curtin Jon Favreau Jaime Pressly

Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Lawrence Sher
Editing by William Kerr
Studio De Line Pictures

Bernard Gayle Productions The Montecito Picture Company

Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures
Release date(s) *March 20, 2009
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $91,636,986[1]

I Love You, Man is a 2009 American bromantic comedy film originally titled Let's Be Friends and written by Larry Levin before John Hamburg rewrote and directed the film. It stars Paul Ruddand Jason Segel.

The film was released theatrically in North America on March 20, 2009, to mostly positive reviews[2] and took second spot in the box office during its opening week (to Knowing). The film was released on home video on August 11, 2009.


 [hide*1 Plot


Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), a real estate agent, just got engaged to his girlfriend Zooey Rice (Rashida Jones). Zooey is ecstatic about the engagement and calls her friends Denise (Jaime Pressley) and Hailey (Sarah Burns) to tell them about it, but Peter does not seem to have any close friends to share the good news with. While visiting his parents, it's revealed that Peter is apparently more adept at getting along with women, and has a history of allowing his male friends to fall by the wayside when he is involved with a woman. After overhearing Zooey's female friends voicing their concerns over his lack of close male friends, Peter realizes he needs to find male friends in order to have a best man for his upcoming wedding.

Peter turns to his gay younger brother, Robbie (Andy Samberg), for advice on dealing with men. He attends a Los Angeles Galaxy game with a man named Lonnie (Joe Lo Truglio), who has a rather loud and annoyingly high pitched voice, and who starts fighting with fellow spectators. He has dinner with another man named Doug (Thomas Lennon), who he soon discovers is gay and thought Peter was as well. He also has lunch with an elderly man named Mel (Murray Gershenz). He even joins Denise's somewhat hostile husband, Barry (Jon Favreau), and his friends for their poker night. Barry is not fond of Peter in the first place, a situation which soon escalates; Peter inadvertently projectile-vomits on Barry after winning a beer-drinking contest, prompting an angry Barry to kick him out of his house.

Feeling rejected, Peter is about to give up, when during an open house at Lou Ferrigno's mansion which Peter is trying to sell, he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), an investor who is attending the showing simply to pick up divorced women and take advantage of the free food. The two hit it off very well and exchange business cards. Later, Peter calls Sydney, and they go out for drinks and fish tacos.

The two quickly become friends, and Sydney eventually invites Peter into his "man cave," a space in his garage where he keeps his collection of musical instruments and various other belongings. Peter and Sydney quickly bond over their mutual adoration of the progressive rock band Rush, and meet for jam sessions. Peter finally introduces Sydney to Zooey at their engagement party, where Hailey makes advances on Sydney, who appears uninterested. The meeting takes an unfortunate turn when a nervous Sydney makes a very awkward toast.

The next night, Peter is watching TV with Zooey, when Sydney calls and talks Peter into joining him for a Rush concert. Hesitant to break his plans, Peter reluctantly agrees to go on the condition that he can bring Zooey. During the concert, Peter and Sydney bond, leaving Zooey feeling ignored. The next day, while shopping for tuxedos, Sydney asks Peter why he is marrying Zooey, and also asks for an $8,000 loan. After some thought, Peter decides to loan Sydney the money, and later grants him the honor of being best man at his wedding.

Zooey, meanwhile, has become suspicious of Sydney, especially after he gets into a fight with Lou Ferrigno (as himself), which may cost Peter the exclusive sales rights to Ferrigno's house. Peter tells Zooey that he lent Sydney money and asks her if she knows why they are getting married, since he had no answer to Sydney's question. Hurt and angry, Zooey leaves to stay at Denise and Barry's house.

Peter leaves for work the next morning only to discover that Sydney has used the $8,000 loan to purchase several ridiculous billboard advertisements promoting Peter's real estate business. Still upset over his fight with Zooey, Peter confronts Sydney and decides to end their friendship. Peter then patches things up with Zooey, explaining to her that while he is nervous, he is ready to get married.

Upon arriving at work, Peter discovers that Sydney's billboard advertising campaign was successful, as he immediately begins receiving more clients and offers on the Ferrigno house. Encouraged by this career boost, Peter finally stands up to his insufferable colleague, Tevin Downey (Rob Huebel), who has been badgering Peter for half the selling rights to the lucrative Ferrigno property. When Tevin makes one final attempt to get a piece of the Ferrigno listing, Peter slaps him across his face and tells him to stay away from it.

While Zooey and Peter prepare for the wedding, Sydney finds himself alone and desperate to hang with someone, but phone calls to his other friends, who all have wives and children, prove futile, and he even out of boredom and depression, watches Chocolat, which is a movie Peter mentioned watching with Zooey on what he felt was the best night of his life in the last couple of years.

Peter feels bad about fighting with Sydney but does not re-invite him to the wedding. Instead, he assembles an array of random groomsmen that includes Robbie, father Oswald (J. K. Simmons), Doug, Lonnie, Mel, and Ferrigno. Before the wedding, Zooey sees Peter looking forlorn, clearly missing his friend Sydney. She calls and invites Sydney, who is, unbeknownst to them, already en route to the wedding. Just before the vows are to be taken, Sydney makes a dramatic entrance via moped. He informs Peter and Zooey that he is, in fact, a successful investor and returns the money he borrowed from Peter, stating that the billboards were the couple's wedding present. Peter and Zooey declare their love to each other, Sydney assumes the role of best man, and the wedding commences.

As the end credits begin to roll, we see the wedding reception, where Peter and Sydney join the hired band (played by OK Go) in a rendition of the Rush song "Limelight" and even pull Zooey on stage to join them. Meanwhile Hailey and Lonnie get together, Denise ends up throwing up on Barry, whose anger over it subsides when she mentions she's pregnant, and finally when the song ends, Sydney attempts to toast the newlyweds and Peter runs to frantically stop him as the screen cuts out (apparently still remembering Sydney's ill-advised toast at the engagement dinner.)


[2][3]Jon FavreauJaime PresslyJason SegelJohn Hamburg, Larry Levin, Rashida Jones, and Paul Rudd at the premiere inAustin, Texas in March 2009.*Paul Rudd as Peter Klaven


"I really wrote my own version of the script, so my version was always going to be R-rated. I wanted to discuss sex, I wanted to discuss - there were blowjobs in the movie, there was Sydney Fife's character who's no way he could live in a PG-13 universe. It wasn't like trying to be raunchy or gratuitous, it was just like, I think most people live in an R-rated world."" — John Hamburg, Director/Co-Writer/Producer[3]

The script, Let's be Friends, was originally written by Larry Levin.[4] It was purchased but went unused for about eleven years before the film was made.[5] Hamburg was offered the script and kept turning it down, but after his friends moved to Los Angeles he was inspired by the experience of trying to meet more friends to give it a shot. When Hamburg finally took the script he rewrote it to make it as real as possible.[3] The film was originally announced in December 2007, with production originally scheduled for March 2008.[6] In March 2008, Variety revealed that producer Ivan Reitman's Montecito Pictures officially began production on I Love You, Man during the week of March 31, 2008.[7]


I Love You, Man is the third collaboration between Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, following the Judd Apatow projects Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, while writer/director John Hamburg previously worked with Segel on Apatow's Undeclared television series.[8] It only took one lunch to get Segel and Rudd to sign on to do the film and this set the stage for other actors to sign on.[9] On February 13, 2008 it was announced that Rashida Jones would be in the female lead opposite Rudd.[10] Later, in an interview with, Jones revealed that because Segel and Rudd were already attached to the project she "knew immediately that it was gonna be even funnier than I would think."[11] At the beginning of the March 31, 2008 week, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Jaime Pressly had joined the film's cast, playing the best friend of Rashida Jones' character.[12] Hamburg comically stated that he was lucky in casting J.K. Simmons because his contract states "he has to be in one out of every four movies made."[13]Jon Favreau started working on the film the same week Iron Man came out, a film which he directed. He said he "probably wouldn't have agreed to have done it had I known my life was going to be that shape", but Iron Man star Robert Downey, Jr. told him that "It is the best thing you could do" — he said 'chop wood, carry water,' which is what they do in the Kung Fu movies to keep you humble."[14]

Anwar Sadat[edit]Edit

One of late President of Egypt Anwar Sadat's daughters filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers because, in the film, Sydney's dog is named after her father. He tells Peter that (he thinks) "... they look exactly alike." Samir Sabri, the lawyer in the case, asked the US embassy to apologize. Complaints have been raised by Egyptian bloggers as well.[15] In the Arabic speaking world, "dog" is often used as an epithet, and in the more specific context of Islam dogs have historically been seen as unclean.


Rush were approached by Hamburg, who is a fan, to appear in the film. The filming schedule was tight because there was a one day window between two of their concerts on tour. The band later said the whole experience was fun.[16]Hamburg felt that "once Rush got that I wasn't poking fun at them, that I'm genuinely a fan and the main characters of the movie are fans and it's kind of a loving tribute to them, I think that's when they came on board."[17] Subsequently, both Rudd and Segel appeared in character as Peter and Sydney alongside the members of Rush in a short video which closes the band's 2010-11 Time Machine Tour shows.[18]


Critical reception[edit]Edit

[4][5]Sign at Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas advertising the premiere of the film

I Love You, Man received largely positive reviews that mostly centered on the chemistry between Rudd and Segel, as well as the supporting performances.

Film review website Rotten Tomatoes gives it an overall approval rating of 83% based on 198 reviews.[19] Metacritic gives it a weighted average score of 70% based on reviews from 34 critics.[20]

Giving the film three out of four stars, Peter Travers with Rolling Stone said that despite the formulaic plot, "It's the variations that Rudd and Segel spin on this theme that make the movie hugely enjoyable." He also praised the supporting cast.[21] Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A, and said that "Paul Rudd gives a startlingly funny and original performance."[22] USA Today gave the film a glowing review, stating "the movie works because everything hinges on the camaraderie and undeniable chemistry between Rudd and Segel."[23] More conservatively, Peoplemagazine said the movie "sails along on goodwill and blush-worthy bawdiness," but concluded that "like instant chocolate pudding, it goes down easy — even if it isn't especially good for you."[24]

The film was not without its critics. Peter Rainer of The Christian Science Monitor was not impressed with the film, and after noting that the character Sydney seemed to be written for Owen Wilson, Rainer remarked, "Maybe Wilson was busy. Lucky him."[25] The Colorado Daily described the relationship between the male leads as a "watered-down false bromance", noting that the pace of their relationship seemed "rushed", and that Peter was looking out for his wife rather than his best friend.[26]

Box office[edit]Edit

In its U.S. opening weekend, the film made $17,810,270 in 2,711 theaters, ranking number two at the box office. The film grossed $71,440,011 domestically and $20,196,975 internationally making $91,636,986 worldwide. I Love You, Man was able to stay in the box office top ten for five weeks. This places it at number 27 of films released in 2009.[1]

Home media[edit]Edit

The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment instead of DreamWorks Home Entertainment on August 11, 2009 in the US and August 24, 2009 in Europe and as of November 2009 generated more than $22 million in DVD sales. I Love You, Man was ranked number two in sales during its opening week and declined from there.[27] The DVD extras contains an hour and a half of content including a full performance of "Limelight." [28]


The film has been nominated for Best Kiss for the 2009 MTV Movie Awards for the smooch between Thomas Lennon's character Doug and Rudd's Peter, but lost to Twilight.[29] It was also nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Film - Wide Release" during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.[30]


I Love You, Man
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released March 17, 2009
Length 49:11
Label Lakeshore Records
Producer Theodore Shapiro
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [31]
SoundtrackNet [32]
Track # Title Performer Length
1 "Good Times" Latch Key Kid 2:30
2 "Oxford Comma" Vampire Weekend 3:15
3 "Tom Sawyer" Rush 4:35
4 "Set You Free" The Black Keys 2:45
5 "Lights Out" Santogold 3:12
6 "Soul of a Man" Beck 2:37
7 "Limelight" Rush 4:20
8 "Good Times Roll" The Cars 3:47
9 "Campus" Vampire Weekend 2:56
10 "Mr. Pitiful" Matt Costa 2:55
11 "Dancing With Myself" The Donnas 3:28
12 "Waterslide" The Bonedaddys 3:54
13 "Limelight" Paul Rudd & Jason Segel 4:22
14 "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" Dean Martin 2:26
15 "Peter and Zooey" Teddy Shapiro 2:17
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