(D) They Came Together

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We all know the story, right? Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins back girl with overly grand public gesture? Its the stuff of fairy tales- or at least 121423 movie plot lines.

Joel is a well-paid member of a corporate candy company who’s just caught his girlfriend cheating on him. Molly is a burnt-from-love ditzy pixie with her own independent sweet shop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. When their friends decide to set them up at a Hallowe’en party the same day Joel’s company decides to drive Molly’s shop out of business, what could possibly go wrong?!

We Came Together recants the story of how Molly and Joel met and fell in love, all thanks to New York and the romantic comedy cliches they can cram into 90 minutes.  Paying homage and jabbing fun of classics such as You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, and basically any movie set in the Big Apple, this big-budget parody was well overdue.

With Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as the lead couple and a host of SNL cast members and US comedians stepping in as the supporting cast, I was expecting a smart and enjoyable parody on the overly stereotypical genre.

Unfortunately, despite everything going for it, it just didnt deliver as well as it should’ve.

The main problem with the movie is that while its somewhat obvious observations regarding romantic comedy tropes are on point, the main thing missing is the genres heart. At no point do you feel invested and as a result you walk away feeling like its fallen short and at no point do you actually want them to get together, so as a result you never buy the relationship and thats what makes romantic comedies worth watching in the first place.

Saying that there are several points of the movie I found hilarious- such as the middle-of-movie montage in order to promote the soundtrack, and Joel’s basketball friends. How I Met Your Mothers Cobie Smulders playing the bitch that breaks Joels heart is also a memorable character- in fact, its a credit to her that she manages to create more chemistry on-screen with Rudd in a short amount of time than Poehler does for the entire film.

Both Poehler and Rudd aren’t at their best in this film, and I’m prepared to go ahead and blame the writing for this. Their gags work but only just in some cases, and a lot of times their jokes dont work at all.  The pair work best when they have the opportunity to improvise, as seen in their star turns in Anchorman and Parks and Rec respectively, so putting them together and, by appearance at least, making them stick to script ended with the words sounding stale.

Its all well and good to mock a genre in a parody, its literally the point, but somewhere you have to pull back from making fun and turn it into something that in and of itself is worth watching- its what separates ‘Scary Movie’ from ‘Scary Movie 5’. ‘We Came Together’ falls in at around ‘Scary Movie 3’- theres something there but at some point it loses its footing and you end up losing interest

Its harmless fun but its nothing to write home about and certainly not enough to spend money on to go and see.

‘They Came Together’ is now available for streaming on Netflix

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