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Review: They Came Together

They Came Together
12 months agoby:
7 10

This review originally appeared as part of JoBlo.com's Sundance 2014 coverage.

PLOT: Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) fall in love amid a picturesque New York-setting, despite numerous- oddly familiar-obstacles in their path.

REVIEW: After years spent directing mainstream Hollywood films (ROLE MODELS and WANDERLUST) David Wain returns to his indie comedy roots with THEY CAME TOGETHER, a film that re-teams him with many people from his cult comedy hit WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER, including most of the cast and co-writer Michael Showalter.

A loving spoof of romantic comedies, THEY CAME TOGETHER feels like the kind of movie we would have gotten had Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker (in their prime) or Mel Brooks taken aim at the genre. Strongly patterned on the 1998 Tom Hanks- Meg Ryan rom-com YOU GOT MAIL (itself a remake of Ernst Lubitsch's seminal rom-com THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER) THEY CAME TOGETHER feels like it was made by people that have some real affection for the genre rather than contempt. Maybe this is due to the fact that leading man Paul Rudd- a favorite of Wain's- has made a number of straight-up rom-coms himself. His casting- along with Amy Poehler- gives the film a bit of a transgressive bent as it's not too much of a stretch to imagine them paired up by a studio in a legitimate entry into the genre. As such, this will likely pull in the rom-com crowd that might be expecting another ADMISSION, giving them a big old surprise.

The film is framed- as are so many of these films- with the main couple telling friends (here played by Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper) how the two met and fell in love. All the genre hallmarks are thoroughly exploited here- to hilarious effect- with a ludicrous “meet-cute” as well as duplicitous significant others (Cobie Smulders for Rudd and Ed Helms for Poehler), the irresponsible sibling, the sassy ethnic best friends, and more. If you're a fan of WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER, you'll be pleased to know that some of the absurdest humor that made that film such a cult item works its way into here, with Christopher Meloni (as Rudd's money-grubbing CEO boss who wants to take over Poehler's indie candy store) having a long, hilarious sequence involving a superhero costume and a trip to the bathroom that would have been right at home in the earlier film.

Of course, not everyone will “get” THEY CAME TOGETHER. Spoofing films that are already comedies in the first place means that a lot of the jokes are deliberately bad, which may be lost on some viewers. It's also not a stretch to think that the audience that's pulled in thinking this is just another rom-com may not always get that it's a satire and meant to be tacky, although one hopes that by the time one famous indie actor -who's known for playing thugs- turns up poking fun at himself everyone will be in on the joke.

THEY CAME TOGETHER isn't quite on par with WET HOT, but then again what is? With the jokes coming at you literally non-stop, the occasional joke that falls flat won't really matter, as there are so many that hit their target dead on (especially a cheesy “promo for the soundtrack” clip inserted into a romantic interlude) that you'll be laughing consistently throughout. Let's put it this way, if you get the double-entendre of the title and you think it's funny, this is for you. If not, then you might want to wait for one Rudd's more mainstream comedies. Is THEY CAME TOGETHER juvenile and absurd? Yes it is, but that's kind of the whole point. If you're a fan of THE STATE-era David Wain and Michael Showalter or STELLA, you'll love it.

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:26PM on 06/29/2014
This isn't the same kind of animal as WHAS. I rented They Came Together On Demand and have it for two days. I've watched TCT twice now. I *might* watch a third time. Meloni's superhero outfit gag is possibly the funniest bit of physical comedy I've seen in a loooong time, like maybe since Harold and Kumar 1. GRADE: 8/10 or B+
This isn't the same kind of animal as WHAS. I rented They Came Together On Demand and have it for two days. I've watched TCT twice now. I *might* watch a third time. Meloni's superhero outfit gag is possibly the funniest bit of physical comedy I've seen in a loooong time, like maybe since Harold and Kumar 1. GRADE: 8/10 or B+
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7:59AM on 06/23/2014
Amy Poehler's moon shaped face gives me a soft on.
Amy Poehler's moon shaped face gives me a soft on.
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6:17AM on 06/23/2014
Can't wait. Loved all their movies and wanderlust really seemed to not get the credit it deserved. I will say this tho, when I first saw WHAS, I was about 15 and it was on VHS and I didn't use the internet to find out about movies nor did I know anything about the state. I recognized some of the actors, but I thought it was so strange until the end when they had to stop the meteors and stuff and the talking can. Up until that point, I knew something was weird, but I really didn't know it
Can't wait. Loved all their movies and wanderlust really seemed to not get the credit it deserved. I will say this tho, when I first saw WHAS, I was about 15 and it was on VHS and I didn't use the internet to find out about movies nor did I know anything about the state. I recognized some of the actors, but I thought it was so strange until the end when they had to stop the meteors and stuff and the talking can. Up until that point, I knew something was weird, but I really didn't know it was a satire and at the end completely rewound it to really appreciate it. Says a bit about me but also a lot ab the brilliance or the movie
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1:09AM on 06/23/2014
I will watch anything with Paul Rudd in it. Good to hear
I will watch anything with Paul Rudd in it. Good to hear
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12:30AM on 06/23/2014
Have heard nothing but great things about this film so far, being a huge Wet Hot/Stella fan, I think this is going to be in my top 5 for the summer.
Have heard nothing but great things about this film so far, being a huge Wet Hot/Stella fan, I think this is going to be in my top 5 for the summer.
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10:09AM on 01/28/2014
A well-made spoof can be something special indeed. Sounds like the perfect movie for a cold, dreary day like today.
A well-made spoof can be something special indeed. Sounds like the perfect movie for a cold, dreary day like today.
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8:26AM on 01/28/2014
love wet hot american summer this sounds like something i would enjoy
love wet hot american summer this sounds like something i would enjoy
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3:14AM on 01/28/2014
Glad to see this get a positive review. If this is half as good as Wet Hot Ameican Summer, then we are in for a really good comedic time.
Glad to see this get a positive review. If this is half as good as Wet Hot Ameican Summer, then we are in for a really good comedic time.
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