Who's In It: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Jaime Pressly, Jon Favreau, J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, Andy Samberg, Thomas Lennon, Sarah Burns
The Basics: An engaged guy with no male friends has to go on a series of "man-dates" to find a friend who'll be the best man at his upcoming wedding. Enter a new best friend who, because this is a Judd Apatow-ish movie (even though he had nothing to do with it), helps the non-man's-man learn the pleasures of getting baked, listening to Rush and talking about oral sex. And luckily for the audience the tired gay panic jokes never materialize because it's too smart a movie to give in to business as usual. If that's what you want you can stay home and watch Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell impugn each other's masculinity. By critiquing each other's outfits. Have you noticed that? It's weird, right?
What's The Deal: I guess we can now crown Paul Rudd as the breakout leading man of this kind of male-bonding comedy. Whether his role is big or small he manages to be the guy that you can most identify with and the one who can save even borderline weak material. Not that this movie is weak. It's just not brilliant or groundbreaking. It's a solid entry in the we're-guys-who-are-kinda-sorta-maybe-growing-up-but-maybe-not genre, but when tedium threatens to take over the cast steps in and keeps it consistently funny from start to finish.
Manly, Yes But: It's another slobby, immature guy comedy. The women are supporting players at best. But to keep the whole thing from turning into a wall-to-wall sausage party, Jaime Pressly and newcomer Sarah Jones get to show up and be funny too. Rashida Jones, on the other hand, doesn't have much to do. And she plays the fiancée. So that's a minor bummer.
Best Public Service Provided By Hollywood To Date In This Calendar Year: The dismantling of ornate dude-slang. Every instance of bro-speak in the movie is impaled and deflated by the characters' inability to stop piling it on or by the awkwardness caused when they get it wrong over and over. If there's a lasting legacy to this movie then that's going to be it: saving the English language from turning into a giant bucket of stupid. Having said that, Rudd's use of the word "blowies" is sort of funny.
One More And It's A Trend: First Neil Peart appeared as a character in Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters and now Rush--who are the #1 favorite band of rock-loving nerds the world over--is not only a major plot point in this film but they have a performance cameo as well. They're going to be due for their own Mamma Mia! soon.