(We're reposting this review from SXSW to coincide with the film's theatrical release this weekend)
By: Eugene Novikov
Up until now, Paul Rudd has been content to sit in the back seat. Apart from a funny but nondescript star turn in Role Models, Rudd has mostly bided his time on the fringes of the various Team Apatow productions, churning out one memorable supporting performance after another, plus the occasional bit part in the likes of Night at the Museum. That he's developed a small but enthusiastic fanbase anyway speaks to his star potential.
I Love You, Man is a sweet, amusing, and perfectly acceptable comedy all around, but it's exciting because it marks the point where Rudd finally begins to stake out his territory as a comedian and a leading man. As Peter Klaven, the happy and level-headed real estate agent who discovers, upon proposing to his girlfriend of eight months, that his total lack of guy friends will result in an all-female wedding party if he doesn't act fast, Rudd combines a nice-guy earnestness with a simmering nervous energy – he's like a less sarcastic Albert Brooks or a more self-conscious Steve Martin.