It’s easy to love “I Love You, Man”

The mark of a true, good comedy is in its ability to make the audience genuinely laugh. Even if the story is simple, a good comedy will find a way to rise above it and deliver.Directed by John Hamburg (“Along Came Polly” and co-writer of “Zoolander”), “I Love You, Man” does just that.Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a successful yet socially awkward L.A. real estate agent whose fiance Zooey (Rashida Jones) finds it troubling that he doesn’t have guy friends to choose from to be his best man. Peter goes on a series of failed “man dates” before meeting Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) — who is everything Peter is not — and instantly hitting it off. Complications ensue, people learn things about themselves and each other and the movie ends happily ever after.What “I Love You, Man” lacks in story, it more than makes up for with its cast.Paul Rudd is a mainstay comedic acting genius, bringing out the laughs in films such as “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Anchorman” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”Unless you were one of the lucky few who originally watched the unjustly short-lived TV series “Freak and Geeks” or “Undeclared,” Jason Segel is probably a recent addition to your favorite actors list.With his recent success in “Knocked Up” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” he has made up for lost time.This is the third film Rudd and Segel have acted in together, but the first in which they both play the leading roles, creating a truly comedic treat.Rudd can play the incredibly awkward yet likable character better than anyone. On the other hand, Segel embodies the essence of being comfortable in an almost unreal fashion.An array of stereotypically male characteristics — having nicknames for your buddies and discussing masturbatory practices as well as sexual encounters — embody Rudd and Segel’s relationship.Yet, if Peter and Sydney were portrayed in any other way, these concepts would have been awkward rather than hilariously apropos.The “bromance” between the two characters is explored so deeply and poignantly that there is no doubt it will join the likes of Butch and Sundance, Han and Chewie, Jay and Silent Bob and Bill and Ted.But when Rudd and Segel are not sharing the screen, the supporting cast picks up the slack that the simple script leaves for granted.Whether it’s Andy Samberg as Peter’s gay younger brother, successfully picking up straight, married men at the gym or Jon Favreau as the pissed off husband who’s all about beers and poker with his friends, the supporting cast is amazing and completes the film by significantly complimenting Rudd and Segel’s outstanding performances.While “I Love You, Man” lags a bit in the end, it is a wide-ranging comedy that delivers genuine laughs, while exploring the beautifully complex subject of the “bromance.”