"Rudd’s enthusiasm and charm and Poehler’s quirkiness and sweetness carry this tongue-in-cheek film along nicely"
Romantic comedies have been done so many times they have their own blueprint. They are conventional, straightforward and avoid unnecessary risks. More often than not it is mediocre in quality, but is usually a box office hit. You can see why Hollywood producers are keen to sanction new productions year after year after year. They are easy to make, filled with clichés and promote the idea that true love conquers all. ?So, as horror films have been spoofed to great comic effect, the next logical step is to produce a satirical parody of the romantic comedy genre, which director David Wain does remarkably well.
We open with a double date where Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) are explaining to soppy couple Kyle (Bill Hader) and Karen (Ellie Kemper) how they met and became a couple. The film then proceeds to tell the audience the story of their turbulent relationship through a series of flashbacks.
Aerial shots over Central Park, big corporate business taking over twee independent shops; it is obvious Wain has watched You’ve Got Mail and he soon delves into some well observed ridicule of the romantic comedy genre, highlighting every chick-flick, rom-com staple in the book. Yes, it is predictable, obvious and lacks the wit of a Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers film, but there are moments that make you laugh and appreciate the parody and absurdity Wain is trying to create. ??For all the negativity and snobbery surrounding romantic comedies, this one actually works well. You can have all the ingredients but without the right chemistry and screen performances all that goes out of the window. Rudd’s enthusiasm and charm and Poehler’s quirkiness and sweetness carry this tongue-in-cheek film along nicely. ?It is a sweet natured, twee little piece of cinema that does not deserve the same criticism as other films in its genre; in particular, efforts - and I use the term ‘effort’ very loosely – such as not so critically acclaimed Sex Tape.
Silly, exaggerated and overstated, played with rich enthusiasm and charm by its two lead actors, They Came Together is an unlikely feel good, quirky, well observed comedy to be enjoyed by the ever-present and always loyal romantic comedy fan base.