paul rudd

DVD REVIEW: I Love You Man (2009)

It’s the end of the Week of Rockin’ Movies.  All week we discussed movies with significant rock n’ roll connections.  If you missed anything, click below!  Thanks for hanging out.

MONDAY:  House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
TUESDAY: The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
WEDNESDAY: 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)
THURSDAY: Record Store Tales Part 284: The Impact of Movies
FRIDAY: Get Him to the Greek (2010)

I LOVE YOU MAN (2009 Paramount)

Directed by John Hamburg

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to review this rocking comedy. This and Fanboys arrived at roughly the same time, both movies featuring a character who loves the Holy Trinity known to Canadians as Rush. However only I Love You Man was able to score appearances from Geddy, Alex and Neil.

If you’re not a fan of the Apatow factory players – guys like Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Joe Lo Truglio, Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, etc – then even the appearance of the Mighty Rush is unlikely to sway you to I Love You Man. You know what kind of humour you’re in for: dick and fart jokes, and plenty of them. If that’s not your kind of humour, that’s cool, man!

I happen to love fart jokes.

I Love You Man has some great fart jokes. But it also has heart, which is why I’m still into it five years later. Peter Klaven (Rudd) is newly engaged to his lovely girlfriend Zooey (Rashida Jones), but there’s one major issue: He doesn’t have any real guy friends. Zooey has plenty of bridesmaids, but Peter can’t think of anyone for the crucial role of best man. Klaven embarks upon a series of “man-dates” to get to know some guys better. These range from funny (Joe Lo Truglio’s gratingly high-voiced Lonnie) to disastrous (a vomit-filled poker game with Jon Favreau).

Klaven has a second problem. As a real estate agent, he’s landed a great client, but also a tough house to sell: Lou Ferrigno’s place. While Peter laments that it’s hard to sell a house with a giant-size Hulk statue on the lawn, it is at an open house that he meets Jason Segel’s Sydney Fife. Hitting it off, the guys exchange cards and agree to get some drinks later.

The critics really praised the on screen chemistry between Rudd and Segal, and it’s hard not to get drawn into their story. Especially when they realize they have a mutual affinity for Rush. This leads to the now-famous “Slappin’ Da Bass” scene, a phrase that Geddy may hear at just about every concert he plays, for all eternity.

The weakness with the movie (and many similar films) is the lack of strong female characters. Zooey is relegated to the character that is slowly pushed aside by Sydney. It’s not intentional of course, but a few missteps that Sydney makes end up upsetting Zooey, and eventually Peter, enough to jeopardize the best man slot at the wedding.

Can Peter, Sydney and Zooey reconcile in time for the wedding? Will Peter ever sell Lou Ferigno’s house? Will Rush be played at the wedding?

Of course you know what will happen, but this being a review, I’m obligated to stay away from spoilers.

I thought the cast was great, the story hilarious (if not the most original idea), and even the supporting cast were all standouts. J.K. Simmons as “the dad” and Andy Samberg as “the gay brother” were notable, even in their small roles. As a child of the 70’s, Lou Ferrigno was icing on the cake for me. The guy obviously has a good sense of humour, and the movie would not have been the same without him. Ferrigno rules.

I Love You Man has earned a permanent place in my movie collection, and not just for the Rush references!

4/5 stars

Paul Rudd as Peter Klaven
Jason Segel as Sydney Fife
Rashida Jones as Zooey Rice
Andy Samberg as Robbie Klaven
J. K. Simmons as Oswald Klaven
Jane Curtin as Joyce Klaven
Jaime Pressly as Denise McLean
Jon Favreau as Barry McLean
Lou Ferrigno as Himself
Rush as themselves

Part 52: Air Guitar

RECORD STORE TALES Part 52:  Air Guitar

I can’t help it.  When a good song comes on, it’s an unconscious reaction:  I start strumming the chords in air guitar…beating the air drums…slappin’ da bass!  (Nobody plays air keyboards.)

Everybody around me was embarrassed to the nines.  But you can’t stop the rock!

I jumped on counters.  I even once jumped down on the floor and did the Angus Young spinny spinny thing.  When there were no customers.  Sometimes I had to jump right off the counter as a guy was coming in.

“Yeah…heh…just playing some air guitar…”

The first time I was ever caught playing air guitar at work, it was actually at my first job at the grocery store.  I was working in the parcel pickup area, and it was March break, about 11 in the morning, and it was dead down there.  So they get you to sweep up the area, clean it up real good.  And we had a tape deck down there.  Well, I started playing air-broom-guitar when one of the assistant managers walked in.  He just smiled.  Probably thought I was half out of my mind.

My air guitar at weddings is now legendary.  It is now tradition that I get down on the dance floor and do the Angus Young spinny-spinny during “You Shook Me All Night Long”.  Last time, I did it in a kilt.  Don’t worry, I didn’t wear the kilt “traditionally”.

Air guitar is an expression of one’s connection to the rock.  If the rock connects, then the air guitars come out.  Next thing you know, you’re doing Van Halen on the countertops, pretending it’s the “Hot For Teacher” video.  It happens!

 

MOVIE REVIEW: Role Models (2009)

Because of its inseperable connection with the Hottest Band in the Land, I have a movie review today.  But in the context of my favourite band:  KISS.

Role Models (2009, 99 minutes, Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott)

All these “bro” movies are from the same mold.  The same general plotline applies.  There’s a pair of funny guys who have a love/hate thing going on.  There’s a girlfriend, usually a professional of some kind, to win or win back.  There are usually dick and fart jokes.

Role Models is all this, so I won’t go and tell you that it’s different from Knocked Up, Superbad, or Mr. Woodcock in any significant way.

Except one.

KISS.

In one of the earliest scenes, Scott throws Love Gun into the car deck.  “Kiss?  Nobody likes Kiss.  Paul Stanley is sick of Kiss,” says Rudd.  Yet, the song “Love Gun” is a recurring motif in Role Models.

Here’s the plot in a nutshell:  Two guys work for an energy drink company called Minotaur.  Their job entails doing presentations to kids in schools to stay off drugs, and drink Minotaur instead.  (“We’re selling nuclear horse piss to kids” – Rudd.)  One day it all goes wrong for Rudd and his girlfriend Beth (get it?  See where this is going?)  Rudd goes a little nuts at a presentation, and his giant minotaur truck ends up mounting a horse statue in the school yard.

Luckily, Beth is a lawyer and cuts Rudd and Scott a deal where they have to volunteer with “Sturdy Wings”, sort of like a big brothers program.  They each have to mentor a child for a set number of hours.  The program, run by a hilarious Jane Lynch, is only mildly creepy.

Later on, Scott teaches his little friend about Kiss.  “These guys look like clowns,” says litle Ronnie.  Scott explains that they’re not, they’re actually really rich Jewish guys, and all their songs are about fucking!  This interests his young friend, who then starts dancing to “Love Gun”.

“See Ronnie?  His dick is the gun!” explains Scott helpfully.

Meanwhile, Paul Rudd’s little buddy is played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (known to you as McLovin).  Augie loves the fantasy role playing thing, and takes Rudd to a battle.  Rudd is not impressed (“I just spent the afternoon with Gleep-Glopp and the Floop-dee-doos”) but decides to help Augie when he needs battle companions.

I don’t want to spoil the ending, except to say that before credits role, you will hear at least two more Kiss songs, and see four characters dressed in Kiss makeup and battle armor for a climax that finishes the movie on a hilarious note.

Other great talents in this movie included Joe Lo Truglio and Ken Jeong, so check it out if that sounds like your kinda thing.  And especially if you’re a Kiss fan.

5/5 stars