Thursday, September 18, 2014

They Came Together

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Ha...the title says "came."

They Came Together – 5 out of 5

For a long time, I feared that the art of the parody film was dead and buried.  Thanks to the endlessly unfunny disasters unleashed on the world in the form of tiresome fart gags and dated pop culture references instead of actual send-ups of the genres they are parodying from the dynamic duo of truly awful filmmaking; Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, and the numerous Scary Movie films that basically started to settle for doing the same joke over and over again (and it always involved scenes ending with someone falling or suddenly just being fired out of shot like a goddamn rocket), it seemed that parody was going to only be reserved to some articles on the internet and absolutely choice songs from a Mr. Yankovic.  However, when all seemed lost, Michael Showalter and David Wain kicked the door in and presented They Came Together and proved that it is still possible to have a parody film that actually knows what it is doing and capable of being “Oops, I think I just pissed myself” funny.

"Allow me to show you the wonder of Pawnee."


I have no caption for this, just enjoy looking at
Hader and Kemper.
Over dinner with some friends (played by Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper), Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) enlighten them about the ups and downs of their relationship and how it resembles a generic romantic comedy.  What follows is a film that is exactly that:  A romcom...but with a twist.  Joel can’t get over his ex Tiffany (Cobie Smulders) and Molly is about to have her world thrown into a loop as her quaint little candy shop is threatened with being muscled out by a huge candy corporation…that Joel just so happens to work for.  Can these two hit it off?  Will love break through their troubles and initial animosity?  It will…and it will do it in a way that simply levels all the tropes and clich├ęs of a romcom.
What shenanigans must occur for these two to fall in love with each other?

I won’t knock romantic comedies because if there are people out there enjoying them and being entertained while watching them, more power to those people.  I, personally, am not a fan of the particular genre. Maybe it’s because I’m a cynic or maybe it’s because my drug of choice is superhero comic book adaptations, I dunno but the romcom genre never spoke to me.  However, like all things in life, there are always exceptions. 
The proper way to thank a bookstore employee when they show you where the Sci-Fi
section is.

I can't afford to eat at places that have "mood lighting."
Since I’m all about movies and since starting this blog has opened me up to watching a lot more movies that, only about ten years ago I would have passed by and never given a second thought to, I have seen my fair share of romcoms and, like pretty much all genres in existence, have learned all the common threads that make up their sweater of existence.  Stella and The State alumni Michael Showalter and David Wain take those threads and weave them with humorous cotton (I’m not letting go of this sweater analogy).  They take all the things we know and either love or hate about romantic comedies and make fun of them in a lighthearted and loving way.
Ha ha...just like in all romantic comedies.

The problem with many parodies now (and mostly due to Friedberg and Seltzer) is the parody film has become mean spirited and the final product is more concerned with insulting people (both the subject matter of the joke and the people watching the film) than it is with crafting gags that both honor and lampoon the genre it is making light of.  To properly jest on a subject, you have to have some kind of reverence for it or at least a begrudging respect and understanding of it. Maybe Showalter and Wain hate romcoms but never does their film end up looking like a metaphoric 12 year old calling the genre “totes gay” like Friedberg and Seltzer did when they decided to make fun of 300.  They Came Together, instead, is a film that is capable of breaking down the romcom genre and analyzing it with a fine toothed comb—a fine toothed comb made up of a great cast (many of which are returning from Showalter and Wain's other satirical romp; Wet Hot American Summer) and humor that is capable of being smart, witty, sometimes silly, and sprinkled with just enough vulgarity to keep it fresh but never insulting.
No, that waiter doesn't have a tail.  It's a pole...and it totally makes sense when you
watch the movie.

Yes, the film has a montage of their "happy times" and, yes,
it has a clothes-trying-on parody.
Showalter and Wain wrote a film that isn’t just funny, it was “Seriously, I can’t breathe and I think I’m going to die from laughter” funny.  It only helped that the two filled the film with friends and fellow hilarity-makers that are talented enough to bring the script’s humor from the page to the screen and do it with justice.  Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler play so amazingly well off each other and are capable of making their story feel absolutely ridiculous and stupidly familiar at the same time.  It really is a testament to their comedic talent that they are capable of making the relationship between them both look like it belongs in a generic romcom and belongs in this film.  Additionally, Paul Rudd continues to prove why he is, arguably, one of the most likable people in all of Hollywood.
Look at him being all likable.  I would hate him for how likable he is if it wasn't
for how likable he was.

Ken Marino, are a gift to comedy.
Yes, Poehler and Rudd rock in their roles but even the supporting cast is capable of bringing gut-busting hilarity to the film’s running time.  Whether it be the few scenes Christopher Meloni is in or the reactions of Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper as the story is told to them or the friendship/work relationship between Paul Rudd’s character and a character played by Jason Mantzoukas or even the short (but hilarious) scenes with Ed Helms, Michael Ian Black, Kenan Thompson, Jack McBrayer and Ken Marino, this film is loaded to the brim with choice (I've labeled things "choice" a lot in this review), top notch, excellent talent that delivers—shit, there is even two fantastic cameos at the end with two guys who aren’t really known for humor (unless you count an infamous Funny or Die video that involved reading a particular scathing email in an overtly dramatic way) that come in and just punch your funny organ in its face.
Comedy, there nothing you can't do, Meloni?

I did the same happy dance after watching the movie.
At no point did this film hit a low moment and at no point did the humor stop being insanely hysterical for me.  It’s actually the most I’ve laughed in a film that doesn’t include the RiffTrax guys in some time.  The comedy never gets repetitive and it is fresh and lively the entire ride.  Showalter and Wain crafted a perfect work of satire and literally everyone in They Came Together delivered to their expectations and beyond.   To put it in the most simplest of terms:  This movie is fucking hilarious!


Thank you, Mr. Wain.  Thank you to you and Mr. Showalter for creating an excellent
and totally hilarious film!

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