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article imageReview: ‘They Came Together’ in the funniest way Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jun 27, 2014 in Entertainment
‘They Came Together’ is a clever parody of the romantic comedy featuring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as a couple who experience all the typical ups and downs generally prescribed by the genre.
The romantic comedy takes many of its cues from the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s. Over the years a formula has been developed that can make the films in this genre too predictable. Or worse, cliché. There's nothing more boring than being able to anticipate the dialogue because you've heard it spoken in the same situation countless times before. Obviously writers and director Michael Showalter and David Wain (respectively) have similar opinions about this picture category, so in They Came Together the duo have comically dismantled the formula and put the parts on display for all to see.
Molly (Amy Poehler) and Joel (Paul Rudd) gush that the story of how they met is straight out of a rom-com — literally. Molly's small sweets shop is being threatened by a large candy corporation for which Joel works when they are set up on a blind date. One coincidence leads to another and hate turns to love then hate again. They each move on to other committed relationships where they realize they are each other's true loves and can no longer live apart.
When Molly suggests Joel is the typical leading man-type, it's no coincidence she's talking about Rudd, who has starred in several romantic comedies. The parody ranges from subtle to just short of holding up a sign that says "recognize this?" Pretty much the entire script is deliberately familiar, but generally with a twist like transplanting a famous scene to an inappropriate situation. A great example of this is when Molly angrily storms out of a dinner party and Joel quips, "I'll have what she's having."
Not as over-the-top as the Wayans brothers' spoofs, the filmmakers play with the genre's conventions to point out their ridiculousness, as well as the unrealistic expectations they place on relationships. Since Jerry Maguire remains one of the most romanticized films to win audience's hearts, it's unsurprising there is a moment or two drawn from the picture, as well as When Harry Met Sally, Meet the Parents and How I Met Your Mother. The conclusion is also the ideal ending for a film that’s turned all other genre conventions on their heads.
Rudd and Poehler are an excellent pair. In addition to each having perfect comedic timing, they also have a comprehensive understanding of the type of movie in which they're playing. Both worked on Wain and Showalter’s other witty parody, Wet Hot American Summer, so they already had a sense of the humour they'd be conveying and couldn't have been better casted. Ed Helms portrays an extension of his character on The Office, while Cobie Smulders is a somewhat less sensitive version of Robin Scherbatsky.
This style of comedy may not suit everyone's tastes, but it's expertly written and delivered by a more than competent group of actors. Also, Christopher Meloni has a full head of hair.
Director: David Wain
Starring: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Cobie Smulders
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