They Came Together (2 stars)

They Came Together

Gifted comics Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler are poorly served by a so-so rom-com parody

If ever there was a genre that was ripe for parody, that genre is the Nora Ephron-style romantic comedy. That's the conclusion drawn by writer-director David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer Michael Showalter, whose new comedy sets about skewering rom-com clichés in gleeful fashion, though the results are mixed at best.

The film begins in a Greenwich Village restaurant, where long-time couple Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) are having dinner with their wise-cracking best friends (Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper). Asked for the story of how they got together, the pair launch into a tale that will be instantly familiar to anyone who's ever watched a Hollywood rom-com: she was the owner of a cute little independent sweet shop, he worked for the candy-pushing monolith across the street; at first they hated each other, but then they met in a bookshop and bonded over their mutual love of 'fiction books', and so on.

Rudd and Poehler are both seasoned comic performers and the supporting cast is packed with a who's who of comedic talent, with Cobie Smulders and Ed Helms particularly good value as Joel and Molly's previous partners. In addition, the script does a great job of nailing every single sappy rom-com convention you can think of, the oft-repeated running joke being Kemper commenting, 'Oh my God, that sounds just like a cheesy movie.'

Unfortunately, for every gag that hits home, there are several that fall flat and even at a crisp 83-minutes, the film eventually outstays its welcome; indeed, the script even seems to recognise this, since the best joke is that Joel and Molly's friends get bored of hearing their story. In short, despite a smattering of decent laughs, this ultimately feels like a sketch dragged out to feature length.

General release from Fri 5 Sep.

They Came Together - Trailer #1

They Came Together

  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 1h 23min
  • 15
  • Directed by: David Wain
  • Cast: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader
  • UK release: 5 September 2014

In this parody of an Ephron-style rom-com, longterm couple Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler) tell their friends (Hader and Kemper) the story of their relationship. Despite a talented cast and a crisp running time of 83 minutes it’s an amusing sketch dragged out to less-than-hilarious feature length.