Paul Rudd has been on a serious hot streak as of late. After spending the better part of a decade being out of cinemas, Rudd has spent the last few years nestled deep in the bosom of Judd Apatow and his comedic troupe. Who knew the guy that played Tommy Doyle in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers had the chops for comedy? After he played some strong supporting roles in Anchorman, Walk Hard (easily one of the least funny comedies I’ve ever seen) and Knocked Up, Rudd moved on to taking over the lead with 2008’s surprise hit Role Models, one of the funniest comedies I’ve seen in a while. Now he’s back, along with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall co-star Jason Segel, for I Love You, Man, a bromance comedy with just the right balance of humor and heart. Rudd stars as Peter Klaven, a real estate agent who’s been spending most of his life devoting time to his girlfriends and, as a result, he doesn’t have any guy friends. When Pete pops the question to his fiancée, Zooey (Rashida Jones), they both realize that he doesn’t have anyone to serve as his best man. Desperate to have someone to fill out the wedding party, Peter goes on a series of “man dates” intent on finding someone to be his new best friend. After a few awkward missteps he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), a laid-back investor who not only befriends Peter, but also teaches him a few things about how to live his life. It’s a well-known fact that casting is crucial for any film to truly work, but I think that sentiment rings truest for comedy. Without the right group of actors to bounce around ideas and lines, most comedies would be incredibly horrendous. Walk Hard is a great example of this fact. As I stated earlier, Rudd is becoming one of my go-to actors these days. Maybe it’s because I can relate to his loveable asshole/introverted homebody characters, but I find the guy to be hilarious. He’s got great timing and, unlike a Will Ferrell-type, he knows to not keep a joke going too long. His awkward interactions with potential best men felt natural and were made all the more funny because it’s something that happens. Jason Segel is practically playing a slightly more grown-up version of his character, Nick, from Freaks & Geeks. That’s something I have no problem with considering that show was one of the best I’ve ever seen on TV (and it’s a goddamn crime that it was canceled after one season). His character here, Sydney, is smooth-talking slacker who prefers to spend his time hanging out and watching Lost rather than find someone to spend his life with, even though most of his long-time friends have moved on to having families and careers. The thing that I like most about Segel, and the same can be said of some of Apatow’s other regulars, is that he’s so at ease on screen that he may as well be starring in an autobiographical film. Nothing he says feels forced or unnatural; it all comes across with effortless enthusiasm. If you’ve read any other comedy review I’ve done before, you now that I think a supporting cast can make or break a movie. And in this one they’ve sealed the deal to make it awesome. Andy Samberg plays Peter’s very openly homosexual brother, Robbie. Samberg is an odd guy, and you either get his unique brand of comedy or you don’t. Thankfully, I fall into the former category, and he was killing me the entire time. The opening dinner table scene rocks. J.K. Simmons, who most people know as J. Jonah Jameson from the Spider-Man series, is Peter’s dad. Simmons, who I know from HBO’s Oz, is surprisingly adept at tackling comedy. I think he may have been the only thing I enjoyed in Juno, that nauseating piece of shit I wish were wiped from the planet. I wanted him to get a little more screen time, but with the film already being close to 2 hours, I think his role fits as it is. I need to make special mention of the fact that it is very cool to see some of the cast from MTV’s The State popping up on-screen lately. Both Joe Lo Truglio and Thomas Lennon have prominent supporting roles. Lennon’s role as Doug gave the film some of its finer uncomfortable moments. And for those with a keen eye, look out for Role Models director and former member of The State, David Wain as the wedding photographer. Also, continuing in the tradition of Role Model’s love song to KISS, I Love You, Man features a healthy obsession with Canadian power trio, Rush. I don’t know if these tributes are at the request of Paul Rudd or not, but it’s cool to see some classic bands given a prominent role in feature films. There’s a scene where Peter and Sydney attend a Rush concert at Avalon in Hollywood, and I couldn’t help but think how effin’ cool it would have been to be an extra for that shoot. I wonder who’ll be the focus of Rudd’s next feature, should they choose to continue down this path. I’m highly recommending you go see this movie, but only if you’re a fan of the cast involved. Hell, even if you’re not you may still enjoy this one. I thought it was funnier than Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and it’s about on par with Role Models. Even though the running time is a bit excessive at 1 hour and 50 minutes, the film never lags so much that you find yourself checking your watch.