I Love You, Man: ** 3/4 (out of 4)

I'm still trying to understand what exactly it is I like about this current batch of "Apatow Comedies" (whether or not they have anything to do with Judd Apatow). They're silly, predictable, unrealistic, based on a world that I hardly recognize; but they're also fun, the characters themselves seem recognizable, and the chemistry between the actors just plain works every time. Certainly, some are better than others - Apatow's actual movies have a bit more heart to them in general - but the entire genre just works for me. And I Love You, Man turned out to be another good example.

The movie's silly premise is simple: Paul Rudd is getting married, and he doesn't know any guys to be on his side. The idea of using women on his side is never explored, though at least it is answered obliquely: he's never had time for any friends, just for girlfriends, which is odd given that he seems to get along with everyone around him. Regardless, he goes about trying to meet guys so that he can have a best man; and after some bad starts, he meets a vaguely creepy guy named Sydney (Jason Segel) and they proceed to bond for the rest of the movie. And so a two-part romantic comedy begins.

As is so often the case in these kinds of comedies, the brilliance is in the side characters. Jon Favreau plays an ass of a husband to the Hot Blonde of Rudd's fiance's friends; Thomas Lennon is a random guy with elements of Lieutenant Dangle; and of course Rashida Jones is an understated, actually pretty cool girlfriend. The main pair are interesting and not entirely twits as well, which is nice. And even the third-tier characters had the standard level of personality.

The ending was not great, and I disliked that lack-of-female-friends thing; but really, those were my only major gripes about the movie. There was less outright embarrassment than I expected, too. Worthwhile.

** 3/4