News

REVIEW: ‘They Came Together’ lampoons rom-coms

REVIEW: ‘They Came Together’ lampoons rom-coms

Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler star in the romantic comedy satire "They Came Together." Photo: Associated Press/Lionsgate, JoJo Whilden

Genre: Comedy | Run Time: 83 min | Rated: R
Director: David Wain | Starring: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Cobie Smulders

By: George Wolf

The non-threateningly attractive, amiable Paul Rudd is an easy guy to like. Maybe even to fall in love with…unless he’s a corporate drone working for the ultra-behemoth conglomerate that’s about to put your quirky, independent candy store out of business! Then he’s just a dreamy boy you could fall in love with but you won’t, dang it! You just won’t!

Director David Wain likes him, though. He likes him well enough to cast him as the lead in every single one of his films, including his latest, They Came Together.

For the provocatively titled newest effort, Wain collaborates with co-writer Michael Showalter, who helped him pen another Rudd vehicle, the cultish gem Wet Hot American Summer. Where that film lampooned summer camp films, the latest effort sends up New York City rom/coms.

Both films are endearingly silly, insightful, packed with genuine talent, and loaded with laughs. Rudd is joined this time around by reliably funny Amy Poehler as maybe the love of his life, if they can get past that candy store thing and a couple dozen other hurdles.

Wain is not just after the big, obvious genre clichés, either – though not one is safe. He’s equally adept at uncovering small, overlooked crutches of the romantic comedy and skewering those, as well. So what went so wrong?

Nothing feels fresh, for starters. So many films have poked fun at romantic comedy clichés that the satire is stale. The humor is broad when it needs to be, targeted at times, and often very funny, but utterly and immediately forgettable.

Just as problematic is that the 83 minute running time feels bloated. Jokes are repeated so incessantly that they lose potency, and Wain’s film has trouble mocking the tired and familiar without feeling a little spent itself. It plays like extended sketch comedy, some of which is spot-on, though too much of it is filler.

With laughs to be had, sight gags galore, priceless cameos, an enviable cast and a quick run time, it’s hardly the worst way to spend a little time in the air conditioning. You know, since Wet Hot American Summer doesn’t stream on Netflix.

Verdict-2-5-Stars

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Nov. 28

Fresh
willienelson

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘Frozen’ tops Barbie as top girls’ holiday pick

frozen

The results marked the first time in 11 years that Barbie hasn't held the No. 1 spot in the annual toy survey.

in Black Friday, Viral Videos

Jimmy Fallon’s favorite #ThanksgivingFails

13-overlay6

Think you've had a rough Thanksgiving? It could always be worse.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Nov. 27

beatles

A look at some of the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘TIS THE SEASON: Holiday specials airing this week

Frosty the Snowman

Here's a look at Christmas classics and new holiday favorites airing this weekend.