In Hollywood’s endless endeavor to churn out likable romantic comedies, many of them fall through the cracks, landing into film obscurity. There are comedies, satires, and parodies. The new rom-com They Came Together seems to blend all of these descriptions together into one mixed bag of quirky, goofy fun. The film’s humor is unorthodox with narration that references the ridiculously predictable rom-com formula. The two headlining actors, whose chemistry is predictably on point, are Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler and with their cute flirty relationship and history making America laugh in the past, they definitely share the screen well.
Joel (Rudd) works for a large corporate candy company and Molly (Poehler) runs a cute little candy shop around the corner. The film basically shows the two of them as they meet, dislike one another, begin to like one another, only to dislike one another once again and well, you get the idea. The extremely silly plot unfolds like an extra syrupy hybrid of You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally… and the results are actually somewhat decent, with colorful performances, the occasional amusing line, and self referential humor rarely seen in films these days.
Rudd and Poehler are adorable together but like Rudd’s track record in the past few years, he could have been paired up with just about any funny female performer. Some recent examples of this are with Poehler’s fellow SNL alum Tina Fey in Admission, with Leslie Mann in This is 40 and Knocked Up, and with Jennifer Aniston in Wanderlust. The list goes on but those are the most recent. Rudd is just a likable guy who can be teamed up with just about any actress, an everyman who knows just how to sell the quintessential romantic comedy.
They Came Together is an enjoyable comedy but it’s sadly limited. It tries to be cute and succeeds here and there but it’s basically one average joke that drags for its 83-minute runtime. The film’s main highlight is its cast of comedic actors. The always reliable and typecast Rudd anchors the film well and Poehler is delightfully bubbly showing promise, moving away from her TV roots (Parks and Recreation, SNL). The rest of the strong cast is basically a who’s who of comedic actors. They include Cobie Smulders, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Melanie Lynskey, Ed Helms, Michael Ian Black, Kenan Thompson, Ken Marino, Adam Scott, just to name a few. There are also some very random cameos that steal the show and someone else who manages to steal the show is Christopher Meloni, who has made a name for himself as tough guy detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In this film, he plays Rudd’s character’s boss who is just downright hilarious.
Now, if you are in the mood to shut your brain off for a while and laugh a little, then They Came Together would definitely be worth your time. It’s not great and it’s not special, it’s just one of those movies that gets made, offers nothing particularly new but gets people into the movie theater. Rudd and Poehler are very appealing together but the lackluster script and corny plot doesn’t do them much justice.