TMN Movie Review: "They Came Together"

Photo Credit: Lionsgate

Rating: R

Length: 83 minutes

Release Date: January 24, 2014

Directed by: David Wain

Genre: Comedy


"They Came Together" is a 2014 comedy film staring comedic legends Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd. Poehler portrays Molly, a quirky 30-something who runs her own indie shop. Rudd portrays Joel, a heartless corporate type and the CEO of a corporate candy company. Joel moves into town and threatens to shut down Molly's shop, ruining her peaceful and idyllic life. The two exchange more than their fair share of antagonistic banter and strike up an unlikely rapport. Joel begins to fall for Molly's unusual charms even though he is still captivated by his conventionally attractive ex-girlfriend. Against all odds, Molly and Joel manage to fall for each other in the midst of this conundrum.

As the film progresses, Molly and Joel's relationship becomes increasingly strained. One thing leads to another, and the couple eventually breaks up. Immediately after, Molly begins dating her very buttoned-up accountant, much to Joel's chagrin. While he turns back to his ex-girlfriend at first, Joel begins to realize that he just can't replace Molly. Torn between his pride and the quirky charm he so desperately misses, Joel is forced to dig deep within himself to find his romantic side and pursue the woman he loves. 

Full of tongue-in-cheek humor and self parody, "They Came Together" is a must-see film for all comedy lovers. Poehler is enough of a big name to draw a sizable audience in her own right, but the story and supporting cast have plenty of merit on their own. The former "Saturday Night Live" star does a brilliant job of portraying Molly, a parody of the iconic quirky dream girl trope. Brilliant yet flaky, Molly's ability to take on the adult responsibilities of owning a business and paying her bills on time is constantly challenged. Her neurotic quirks contrast with Joel's no-nonsense ways, making them a prime example of how opposites attract. Rudd perfectly portrays Joel's cold sensibilities and heartless business tactics, making him a worthy adversary for Poehler's moral and idealistic character. 

Director David Wain also parodies the romantic comedy cliché of having an unlikely couple get together, break up and then reunite at the last moment thanks to a compelling speech on behalf of the romantic male lead. This film manages to poke fun at all the formulas audiences love to hate and hate to love while executing them flawlessly. From start to finish, "They Came Together" offers plenty of humor in terms of both situational comedy and self parody. 

While Poehler and Judd certainly steal the show as the a-list performers they are, "They Came Together" also owes a good deal of its success to a stellar supporting cast. Max Greenfield, Christopher Meloni and Cobie Smulders shine in their roles as friends and exes entangled in the odd couple's dramatic affairs. Joel's relationship with his ex, portrayed by Smulders, is a hilarious part of the film that truly propels the story. Tiffany begins the movie as Joel's ideal woman, but that begins to shift as he finally grows up and learns to look beneath the surface. While Tiffany is elegant, beautiful and sophisticated, she soon begins to pale in comparison to Molly's unpolished charm and genuine heart. Joel begins to see Tiffany's shallowness and realize that he wants a partner who challenges him on all levels. 

Likewise, Molly is forced to struggle with the fact that she always dates people within her comfort zone. When she retreats back to her safety net of dating dull men who don't challenge her ideas or inspire any sense of passion for life, she begins to miss Joel's abrasive ways, as infuriating as they may be. What occurs is a hilarious yet touching coming-of-age experience for both Joel and Molly, one that none of the characters in this film are likely to ever forget.

"They Came Together" is certainly a film that strays off the beaten path with great rewards. From the upbeat indie soundtrack to the artistically awkward style of filming and dialogue, this movie is a well-written, quirky comedy that tugs at the heart strings. The humorous moments in the movie never come at the expense of sincerity, making the script all the more hilarious for its believability. "They Came Together" is situational comedy and parody at its finest as it manages to strike the funny bone time after time without being mean-spirited or feeling forced. From endearing characters and heartfelt performances to a well-written script and a plot twist for the ages, there is something for everyone to enjoy in "They Came Together."