I Love You, Man | 2009
The implied bromance which provides the subtext for so many laddish comedies is, for once, moved centre-screen as happily metrosexual Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), after proposing to his partner Zooey (Rashida Jones), begins to realise that he has no close male friends.
The film is set in relentlessly sunny Los Angeles, where Klaven’s neighbourhood is the pleasantly villagey and diverse Los Feliz district, northeast of Hollywood. His cool-looking modern house is 3959 Franklin Avenue at George Street, at the eastern end of the striking Shakespeare Bridge (which you can see in all its glory in Kenneth Branagh’s Dead Again).
‘Davis Dunn Realty’, where Peter’s big project is to sell the house of TV Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno, is an office of the real Exit Real Estate Group, 6565 West Sunset Boulevard at Seward Street, in the heart of Hollywood.
His fiancée, Zooey (Rashida Jones), works a little closer to home at a store called ‘ZHD’, which was design and gift outlet Yolk, which stood at 1626 Silver Lake Boulevard, Silver Lake. Until 2019, that is, when the quirky 1930s building was demolished, without proper consent, and another bit of Silverlake's individuality is lost forever.
At dinner with his parents (JK Simmons and Jane Curtin) and enthusiastically gay brother Robbie (Andy Samberg), it’s pointed out to Pete that he’s a “girl friend guy”. The Klaven family home is to the north, in the San Fernando Valley, at 4727 Arcola Avenue, between Camarillo and Kling Streets, in the Toluca Woods neighbourhood (north of Toluca Lake).
On a mission to increase his circle of man-chums, Pete seeks advice from Robbie at the Equinox Fitness & Spa, 10220 Constellation Boulevard, in Century City, where he works as a trainer. The result is a series of not-too-successful man-dates.
Exuberantly squeaky-voiced Lonnie (Joe Lo Truglio) proves a major embarrassment at an LA Galaxy football game at the team’s home, the StubHub Center, 18400 Avalon Boulevard, down in Carson. Yes, that was the team of UK soccer star David Beckham.
A restaurant date with Doug (Thomas Lennon) seems to be going a bit better, until it turns out Doug that expects a little more from the evening than Peter. The wood-panelled restaurant is modern chophouse Jar, 8225 Beverly Boulevard at North Harper Avenue, midtown.
Fate intervenes during an open-day Pete hosts at the Lou Ferrigno house in the Hollywood Hills. The spectacular white estate is 1 Electra Court, overlooking Hollywood. Built in the Nineties, the house occupies its own private street on a three-acre promontory in Mt. Olympus, and truly does have 360 degree views of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. When it was put on the market in 2012, the asking price was $22 million. You can see the house clearly on the skyline from the western end of Hollywood Boulevard. It’s not now, nor has it ever been, home to Lou Ferrigno, by the way.
It’s here Pete meets the shambolic but open and easy-going Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) and the unlikely friendship blossoms.
Sydney lives in Venice Beach and the two meet up for a liberatingly tipsy evening at James Beach Restaurant, 60 North Venice Boulevard, off Pacific Avenue, where they both agree the ‘fish tacos’ (properly, they’re mahi mahi tacos) are the “best in the world.”
Sydney’s testosterone-drenched ‘man-cave’ is about a mile north, at 26 Rose Avenue, just north of Speedway. The place seems to have suffered an attack of shyness since the movie was filmed and has disappeared behind an impenetrable screen of bushes. Incidentally, it’s just around the corner from On The Waterfront Café, which you might have seen in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby.
Sydney walks his puggle (half pug, half beagle), Anwar Sadat, on the Venice Boardwalk near Muscle Beach, and takes the still buttoned-up Peter to let out a manscream under Santa Monica Pier.
The engagement party, where Sydney makes a well-meaning but embarrassing speech, exhorting Zooey to “return the favour”, is held at the kitsch pagoda of Hop Louie, 950 Mei Ling Way, naturally enough, in Chinatown. This restaurant and dive bar is also where the team of oddballs meet up in Mystery Men.
Zooey gives up Sunday night HBO to tag dutifully along as Peter and Sydney bond at a Rush concert, which was filmed in Avalon (the old Hollywood Palace), 1735 North Vine Street, opposite the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood. The venerable theatre was previously seen on-screen as ‘Jake’s Palace’ in 1984’s Against All Odds.
The pedestrian shopping street where Pete agrees to loan Sydney money for an investment is The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, 3rd Street and Fairfax, in the Fairfax District. Opened in 2002, this shopping complex is part of the old Farmers’ Market, which you might have seen in Brian De Palma’s 1984 Body Double. Alongside the Grove’s animated fountain (there’s a choreographed music-fountain show here every hour!), Pete asks Sydney to be Best Man at his impending wedding.
Passing a terrace restaurant in Venice Beach, the hot-headed Sydney, seeing Lou Ferrigno schmoozing with Pete’s pushy co-worker, urinal cake-face man Tevin, gets into a fight with the Hulk. The result is sadly predictable. The restaurant was DeliZia Café, which closed down shortly afterwards, only to be reborn as Venice Ale House, 2 Rose Avenue on the Venice Boardwalk, where you can get good, organic food and a range of craft beers.
A city-wide billboard campaign organised by Sydney to help Pete’s career, seems to backfire, resulting in a parting of the ways for the pair. Of course, differences are worked out just in time for the wedding.
Supposedly in ‘Montecito’, the fictitious ‘El Acantilado Spa and Resort’, where Pete and Zooey finally tie the knot, is a private gated estate, La Villa Contenta, 26880 Pacific Coast Highway, in Malibu. Yours for $54 million. Give or take.