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The Production
"If you see a cool-looking guy, strike up a conversation. Ask him on a man-date. By that, I mean a casual lunch or after-work drink. No dinner and no movies. You're not taking these boys to see ‘The Devil Wears Prada,' understand.” – Robbie (Andy Samberg)

Shot entirely in Los Angeles, "I Love You, Man” shows the city in a way rare for Hollywood films. "Growing up in Manhattan, I always had a fascination with Los Angeles,” explains John Hamburg. "I spent a lot of time in L.A. working, so I think I had a romanticized view of it, which is why I really wanted to set the movie here, to explore what's underneath.”

As sprawling as the city is, L.A. can sometimes be a hard place to develop one's "inner circle” – making it the perfect location for this movie's premise. "When you're searching for friends and community, Los Angeles has all these pockets but no center and it can feel quite lonely without any friends,” notes Hamburg.

The director also wanted to portray the city as a fun character in his story. "John really wanted the character of the city to come through in a way that you normally wouldn't see in a comedy,” explains producer De Line. "People have shot really interesting films in Los Angeles, usually of a more dramatic nature, that show interesting aspects of the city. But a comedic approach to that is a really fresh and groundbreaking thing.”

One aspect Hamburg wanted to incorporate into the story was to show that where you live in the sprawling metropolis can define who you are and make it harder to break out of your mold. "There are many different aspects and parts of L.A.; Peter Klaven lives on the east side, while Sydney lives way out west in Venice, which feels like a beach town,” comments Hamburg. "Even though you're both living in the same city, if you choose to live in Venice, you're probably a different sort of person than someone who chooses to live an hour away from the ocean.”

Observes production designer Andrew Laws, "With Venice, you don't quite know what you're getting. Putting Sydney in Venice adds a lot of texture to who he is.”

While in other films, Venice has often been portrayed as a haven for kooks and drug dealers, Hamburg sought to show another facet of this relaxed and somewhat eccentric enclave. "The extras we used were some of the freakiest of the freakos,” says Jason Segel, "but they were behaving realistically – like they were on the Venice boardwalk on a normal Tuesday afternoon.”

One of Sydney's favorite daily activities is walking his Puggle (a mix of a Pug and a Beagle) on the Venice boardwalk, where some of the other dog owners – who Sydney calls "bowsers” – also walk their dogs. "A bowser is a term Sydney Fife invented for someone who looks like their dog,” explains co-producer Anders Bard.

The search for such dog/owner combinations was an extensive process. "Our extras casting group put out flyers and about 250 people showed up with their dogs. We had people who arrived dressed like their dogs or with the exact same haircut, which I found really interesting in a weird, creepy sort of way.”

The Venice boardwalk is also where Sydney has a physical altercation with Lou Ferrigno and ends up in a choke hold. "The choke hold is actually very effective,” says Ferrigno. "Done correctly, it can close off the main artery in a person's neck and decrease the blood supply. It actually knocks you out for a couple of minutes.”

Of course, on film, the move only had to look effective, so a stunt coordinator showed the muscle man how to execute the move on Segel without hurting him. "It was a pleasure to learn, from an expert like that, how to make it both safe and believable because, in real life, it's a very dangerous hold.”

Since the fight between Ferrigno and Segel was shot on the Venice board


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