Movie Review – They Came Together (2014)

Director: David Wain

Stars: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Cobie Smulders, Jason Mantzoukas, Ed Helms

This is a complete spoof of the romantic comedy genre.

Romcoms get a lot of hate but I’ve always been a fan of them, even some of the most clichéd ones. A lot of time it comes down to the chemistry between the actors. In recent years there have been a slew of films that seek to change up the formula or deconstruct the conventions of the genre, but They Came Together just wants to make fun of them. And you know what, sometimes it’s good to poke fun at something you love.

Parts of this movie made me howl with laughter as it sent up a lot of the clichés. If you like romcoms at all then you’ll recognize familiar territory here, and they don’t even have to exaggerate it too much to make the laughs work. Some of the humour is surreal, and this made me laugh as well, but the gross-out humour felt out of place and didn’t generate any laughs (although given the tone of the film perhaps that’s what they were going for).

One of the downsides of the film is that the two main characters don’t feel authentic at all, and I thought it may have been better had they been played straight, but the more bizarre things get the more I found it difficult to relate to them. As a film in its own right I don’t think it offers a compelling story, and nobody should go into this looking for a wry, subtle jab at romcoms. This is full-blown, spit in your face spoofing and I don’t think it will hold any entertaining value unless you are willing to laugh at the genre. That being said, I thought it was hilarious in parts and it gets a glowing recommendation from me for the way it nails some things.

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