Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: "They Came Together"

I really wanted to enjoy They Came Together. I really did. I love Amy Poehler. And I have come to appreciate Paul Rudd's goofy charm. The film just has so many unforgivable weaknesses. Maybe I just misinterpreted the tone of the story, but I really did not understand the need to pander so heavily to the audience. It became so irritating that I started to detest every moment Poehler and Rudd were on screen. It reminded me too much of Woody Allen's 2004 film Melinda and Melinda, where a group of writers spend an evening discussing how the same story can be told as a comedy and as a drama. In They Came Together, Poehler and Rudd share with another couple the story of their relationship. They Came Together feels like a rough draft of a story that needed more proofreading. I think it has potential to work, even with the same cast, if the screenplay (co-written by director David Wain and producer Michael Showalter) had been rewritten a few more times.

To be brief, the plot is purposefully formulaic. Molly (Poehler) is the owner of an independent candy shop. Joel (Rudd) is the big, bad businessman working for Corporate Candy Company tasked with shutting down her store. Obviously, sparks fly until she discovers who he is!

They Came Together is the fifth feature film from David Wain. Perhaps I should have checked out his filmography before giving a chance to his newest venture. His previous works include Wet Hot American Summer (2001) and Role Models (2008). These are probably enough clues to let me know what to expect. Surprisingly, They Came Together currently has a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus is that Poehler and Rudd have enough chemistry to make up for the egregious faults. While Poehler and Rudd are definitely the best parts of the film, the weak script and choppy plot devices strand them both in a terrible finished product. No wonder the film was released in late June without any fanfare.

My rating: 1 star out of 4.

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