Sunday, April 12, 2009

Another blog special courtesy of Brian Ramsell (ex-Hall). It's thought-provoking review of the current film 'I Love You Man,' which I was avoiding but will now likely see...

Of Straight Male Love Dances and Yin/Yang Balance

This movie is about a character, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) who is soon to be married. After overhearing a conversation between his fiancee and members of her wedding party, he becomes self-conscious about his lack of male friends.

This leads to a string of awkward attempts at male bonding on a series of "man dates".

Finally, when he stops trying so hard, he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel). Sydney is Peter's "polar opposite." Where Peter is polite and contained to a fault, Sydney is his "caveman" opposite.

Another way of saying it is that Sydney is more physically oriented while Peter is more strictly mental. "Masculine" and "Feminine" are just names for these traits.

However, the two click. It seems they have met for a reason. Their friendship evolves and Peter begins to integrate more of his unrealized "masculine" energy into his more conscious "feminine" personality. Attempts are awkward at first, but after some practice, Peter is shooting from the hip like a pro.

Unfortunately, as can happen when we try something new, Peter goes a bit overboard with the caveman routine. As he tries out the new energy, it takes some time to find a healthy balance with the rest of his being. With time, it finds a healthy medium in Paul's energetic being.

More things happen, but this energetic alchemy is what struck me the most. We all project our own most valuable lessons onto "art" at times.

Finally, in the end, a total integration has occurred, which has transformed Peter's life. It's not that he has "become" the caveman...he has simply integrated this heretofore repressed part of himself into his day-to-day being. This "masculine" energy has vitalized him and given him drive. As the shy, reserved persona, he was seriously selling himself short, both professionally and personally. With this healthy shot of the "masculine," he no longer gives any credence to thoughts of doubt and insecurity. As his life transforms and becomes richer, we see the true power of our thoughts.

As a bonus, it is not only Peter who is transformed. Sydney also takes a piece of Peter's "feminine" energy into his own as he demonstrates in his professing of love of a certain "chick flick."

As a movie, "I Love You, Man" is decent. It's a crowd pleaser, but it has some valuable lessons too. As Aaron pointed out, it is also a reflection of our evolving societal consciousness, as traditional conceptions of masculinity are being replaced by those informed equally by its opposite energy. If we look around we can see evidence of this kind of evolution everywhere, despite the many problems that also exist in the world. The glass is half full too, yo!

Here's Paul Rudd interviewed with excerpts from the film:

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