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I Love You, Man

Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Hamburg
Produced by Donald De Line
John Hamburg
Written by Screenplay:
John Hamburg
Larry Levin
Larry Levin
Starring Paul Rudd
Jason Segel
Rashida Jones
J. K. Simmons
Jane Curtin
Jaime Pressly
Andy Samberg
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Lawrence Sher
Editing by William Kerr
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures
Release date(s) United States:
March 20, 2009
United States:
April 15, 2009
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $91,411,693[1]

I Love You, Man is a 2009 American comedy film originally titled Let's be Friends and written by Larry Levin before John Hamburg rewrote and directed the film. Starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, and Rashida Jones the film focuses on Peter's lack of male friends and the bond that forms between him and Sydney.

The film was released theatrically in North America on March 20, 2009 to mostly positive reviews.[2] Even with the good reviews I Love You, Man only took second spot in the box office during its opening week losing to Knowing. The film was released for home video on August 11, 2009.



Peter Klaven, a big-time real estate salesman, just got engaged to Zooey Rice. Zooey is ecstatic about the engagement and calls her friends to tell them about it, but Peter does not seem to have anyone special he'd like to share the good news with. While visiting his parents it comes out that Peter is actually a "girlfriend guy," and his male friends when he was growing up "fell by the wayside." After overhearing Zooey's friends tell her that they are concerned Peter does not have any friends, Peter realizes he needs to find some male friends in order to have a best man for his wedding. Peter seeks the advice of his younger, gay brother Robbie on how to meet platonic guy friends and how to take them on "man-dates".

Peter's first attempt is with Barry, who is married to Zooey's best friend Denise, for poker night with the guys. It ends horribly when, after chugging beers, Peter projectile vomits onto Barry, who already dislikes Peter to begin with. Robbie then sends Peter out with a guy from his gym for a soccer game. The man ends up being a die-hard fan, screaming in a very high pitched voice and eventually getting into a brawl. Peter seeks friends online and finds Mel, who represented himself as a young man on his profile, but is actually an old man. Peter's mother tries to help by sending him to dinner with Doug Evans who just moved to L.A.. Against Robbie's advice, Peter goes to dinner with Doug, who believes it to be romantic and gives Peter a French kiss.

With all these failed attempts Peter gives up, but during an open house at Lou Ferrigno's, he meets Sydney Fife. They hit it off when Sydney gives a play-by-play of a potential buyer's body language and what it means. The men exchange business cards. Peter calls Sydney and leaves a very awkward voicemail, but Sydney calls back and they go out for drinks.

They hang out again for lunch and afterward Sydney shows Peter the "man cave," a space in his garage where he keeps a big-screen TV, his collection of instruments, and Rush memorabilia. Peter finally introduces Sydney to Zooey at their engagement party. Zooey's opinion of Sydney sours when he makes a very awkward speech hinting that she needs to give Peter more oral sex.

Peter convinces Sydney to go golfing with Zooey and Hailey, it ends with Hailey storming off the green. That night Peter is watching TV with Zooey, Sydney calls and talks Peter into going to see Rush instead. At the concert Zooey feels ignored while Peter and Sydney are enjoying the concert. During tuxedo shopping, Sydney asks Peter why he is marrying Zooey and for an $8,000 loan. Doug coincidentally shows up and confronts Peter, making a scene because he thinks he is with Sydney. Peter finally comes clean to Sydney telling him that he was searching for friends before meeting him and that he will loan him the money.

Zooey, however, is now suspicious of Sydney, especially after he fights with Lou Ferrigno, possibly causing Peter to lose 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. Hurt and angry, Zooey leaves to stay at Denise's house.

When Peter leaves for work that next morning he sees several embarrassing billboards advertising his real estate business that Sydney purchased using Peter's loan. When Peter confronts Sydney, he ends their friendship. Peter patches things up with Zooey, explaining to her that he is nervous but ready to get married. Peter discovers that the billboards worked; he starts receiving more clients and offers on the Ferrigno house.

Peter feels bad about fighting with Sydney but doesn't re-invite Sydney to the wedding. Before the wedding, Zooey sees Peter upset, so she calls and invites Sydney (who is already on his way) to the wedding. Just before the vows are to be taken, Sydney makes a dramatic entrance, they declare their platonic love to each other, and Sydney assumes the role of best man.


Jon Favreau, Jaime Pressly, Jason Segel, John Hamburg, Larry Levin, Rashida Jones, and Paul Rudd at the premiere in Austin, Texas in March 2009.
  • Paul Rudd as Peter Klaven: Rudd explained that his character, Peter, is partly based on his own personality. Slightly ashamed he said "There are facets of my own personality that I think I was able to play up a little bit in this part."[3]
  • Jason Segel as Sydney Fife: Segel said that he based the character of Sydney on Russell Brand. Stating that Brand's "take it or leave it' attitude" and mannerisms were perfectly matched for Sydney going as far as saying, "I just ripped off Russell basically."[3] Sydney was originally a drum player but it was changed because of the similarities between Segel's character in Freaks and Geeks.[4] "It was insane" for Segal's shooting schedule because he had to be on set for How I Met Your Mother during the day and this film at night.[5]
  • Rashida Jones as Zooey Rice
  • Jaime Pressly as Denise
  • Sarah Burns as Hailey
  • Jane Curtin as Joyce Klaven
  • Andy Samberg as Robbie Klaven
  • J. K. Simmons as Oswald Klaven
  • Jon Favreau as Barry Mclean: Favreau jested that he had trouble getting into character. He had "never played a character with a small penis before."[6]
  • Rob Huebel as Tevin Downey
  • Aziz Ansari as Eugene
  • Nick Kroll as Larry
  • Thomas Lennon as Doug Evans
  • Lou Ferrigno as Himself: This was the only part that Hamburg wrote in,[7] while he was writing it the "idea just popped into his head".[8]
  • Joe Lo Truglio as Lonnie
  • Jay Chandrasekhar as Party Guest
  • David Krumholtz as Sydney's Buddy
  • Larry Wilmore as Minister
  • Brennan Reynolds as Shirt
  • Carla Gallo as Zooey's friend
  • Rush as themselves
  • OK Go as The Wedding Band "Tastes Like Chicken"
  • Matthew Thurmon as Carter


"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[7]

The script, Let's be Friends was originally written by Larry Levin.[9] It was purchased but went unused for about eleven years before the film was made.[10] Hamburg was offered the script and kept turning it down, but after his friends moved to L.A. 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.[7] The film was originally announced in December 2007, with production originally scheduled for March 2008.[11] 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.[12]


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.[13] 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.[5] On February 13, 2008 it was announced that Rashida Jones would be in the female lead opposite Rudd.[14] 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."[15] At the beginning of the March 31, 2008 week, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Jaime Pressley had joined the film's cast, playing the best friend of Rashida Jones' character.[16] Hamburg got lucky casting J.K. Simmons because his contract states he has to be in one out of every four movies made.[17] 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."[6]

Anwar El Sadat

One of Anwar El Sadat's daughters has filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers because, in the film, Sydney names his dog after her father, and explains that the dog resembles the late Egyptian president. Samir Sabri, the lawyer in the case, has asked the US embassy to apologize. Complaints have been raised by Egyptian bloggers as well.[18]


Rush was approached by Hamburg, who is a fan, to appear in the film. Even though Rush does not normally perform in movies, they decided to do it. The shooting schedule was tough because it was their day off right in between gigs on tour. The band later said the whole experience was fun.[19] 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."[20]


Critical reception

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.

The film review website Rotten Tomatoes gave it an overall approval rating of 82%,[21] with selected critics giving it an 84% approval rating.[22] Metacritic gave it 71% positive rating.[23] 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.[24] Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A, and said that "Paul Rudd gives a startlingly funny and original performance."[25] 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."[26] More conservatively, People magazine 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."[27]

The film was not without its critics, however. 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."[28] 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.[29]

Box office

In its U.S. opening weekend, the film made $17,810,270 in 2,711 theaters, ranking number two at the box office. As of August 2009, the film has grossed $71,440,011 domestically and $19,971,682 internationally making $91,411,693 worldwide. I Love You, Man was able to stay in the box office top ten for five weeks. So far this places it at number 27 of films released in 2009.[1]

Home video

The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD 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.[30] The DVD extras contains an hour and a half of content including a full performance of "Limelight." [31]


The film has been nominated for Best Kiss for the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, but lost to Twilight.[32]


I Love You, Man
Soundtrack by Various Artists
Released March 17, 2009 (2009-03-17)
Length 49:11
Label Lakeshore Records
Producer Theodore Shapiro
Professional reviews
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 "Let the 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


  1. ^ a b "I Love You, Man (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  2. ^ Vilkomerson, Sara (2009-03-10). A Romantic Comedy About Two Straight Men: John Hamburg's I Love You, Man Might Be the First Dude Flick With a Heart (HTML).The New York Observer. The New York Observer, LLC. Retrieved on 2009-03-11
  3. ^ a b "Russell Brand inspired Segel role". April 09, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-20.  
  4. ^ "On Set Interview: Director John Hamburg's I Love you Man!". IESB. June 05, 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2009.  
  5. ^ a b Guerrasio, Jason (March 23, 2009). "Catching Up With... I Love You, Man's Jason Segel". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  6. ^ a b "Jon gets film advice from Downey Jr". April 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-20.  
  7. ^ a b c Douglass, Edward (March 12, 2009). "John Hamburg Says I Love You, Man". Retrieved 2009-08-25.  
  8. ^ Hartman, Darrell (March 17, 2009). "Man to Man: John Hamburg". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2009-08-25.  
  9. ^ SXSW (March 20, 2009). "SXSW Panel: I Love You, Man: Are You Man Enough to Say It?". Press release. Retrieved 2009-08-28.  
  10. ^ Morefoot, Addie. "'Man' love in New York". Retrieved 2009-04-10.  
  11. ^ "Paul Rudd to star in 'I Love You'". Retrieved 2008-03-31.  
  12. ^ "Montecito acquires 'Underage' spec". Retrieved 2008-03-31.  
  13. ^ "I Love You, Man (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-12-04.  
  14. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (February 13, 2008). "Rashida Jones set to 'Love' Rudd uiuiui". Variety. Retrieved 2009-04-20.  
  15. ^ Billington, Alex (March 20, 2009). "Interview: I Love You, Man's Lead Actress Rashida Jones". Retrieved 2009-04-20.  
  16. ^ "Jaime Pressly cast in 'I Love You, Man'". Retrieved 2008-03-31.  
  17. ^ Capone (March 23, 2009). "Capone Talks about Guy Stuff with I Love You, Man writer-director John Hamburg!!!". Aint it Cool. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  18. ^ "Egypt anger over Sadat film dog". BBC. August 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-20.  
  19. ^ Bob Brunner (March 17, 2009). "Rush's Geddy Lee talks about 'I Love You, Man,' 'Colbert,' and their new compilation". Retrieved 2009-08-25.  
  20. ^ Douglas, Edward (August 10, 2009). "EXCL: John Hamburg Says I Love You, Man... Again!". Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  21. ^ "I Love You, Man (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 17, 2009.  
  22. ^ "I Love You, Man (2009) - Top Critics". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 17, 2009.  
  23. ^ "I Love You, Man Review". Metacritic. Retrieved August 17, 2009.  
  24. ^ Travers, Peter (April 2, 2009), "True Bromance". Rolling Stone. (1075):92
  25. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (March 27, 2009), "I Love You, Man". Entertainment Weekly. (1040):48
  26. ^ Claudia Puig (March 20, 2009), "'Man,' this is one bromantic joy ride". USA Today.
  27. ^ Jones, Oliver (April 13, 2009), "I LOVE YOU, MAN'S ULTIMATE BACHELOR". People. 71 (14):37
  28. ^ Rainer, Peter (March 20, 2009), "'I Love You, Man'". Christian Science Monitor. 101 (79):15
  29. ^ Colorado Daily staff (May 14, 2009). "Kirk and Spock: Tip of the bromance iceberg". Retrieved 2009-08-20.  
  30. ^ "I Love You, Man". The Numbers. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  31. ^ Hoffman, Jordon (August 6, 2009). "I Love You, Man - John Hamburg Interview". UGO. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  32. ^ "2009 MTV Movie Awards: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson Win Best Kiss". MTV. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  

External links

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