Just as we'd thought the "bromantic comedy" had overstayed its welcome, the genre reaches its high point with writer-director John Hamburg's best film yet. The subtext is finally the text—it's right there in the title. It delivers an absolutely complete, fully realized, delightfully novel redo of the hoariest of forms: the meet-cute, love-at-first-sight, break-up-and-make-up, racing-to-the-altar slapstick weepy that's been a staple of cinema since the invention of cinema. And its arrival was inevitable. You may be surprised to find Judd Apatow's name absent from the credits, but I Love You, Man bears his indelible, now-inescapable stamp: from Jason Segel, who's been playing a slovenly, spastic Rush fan since Freaks and Geeks, the touchstone for this universe, to Paul Rudd, Apatow's better-looking alter ego, to Hamburg, who directed Segel's first man-on-man hug during his three-episode run on Apatow's Undeclared. So now the circle is complete and at the end of the line—unless Segel, Rudd, and Seth Rogen are willing to do gay porn.
Rudd has to come to terms with his feelings.
Opens Guild 45 and other theaters, Fri., March 20. Rated R. 105 minutes.