They came together
Parody that is so fully aware of how silly it is that you simply have to find this fun
Comedian David Wain comes from a background of writing, acting and directing for american sketch shows including Stella (2005) and Wainy Days (2007). For the large part his work has been low budget but with an abundance of positive critical reception. His first feature Wet Hot American Summer in 2001 had a cast that can be easily recognised today including Amy Poehlor and Paul Rudd (both of whom are the leads in this outing).
Giving the plot here is quite funny itself as just by looking on it’s IMDB page we can immediately tell what Wain is getting at:
“When Joel and Molly meet, it’s hate at first sight: his big Corporate Candy Company threatens to shut down her quirky indie shop. Plus, Joel is hung up on his sexy ex. But amazingly, they fall in love, until they break up about two thirds of the way through.“
Firstly if the above plot summary hasn’t made you chuckle or if you’re shouting “Plot Spoiler!” then this might not be your film. In fact I can understand completely why some people might not find this to their taste. It’s something I was thinking throughout but fortunately for me the film reads very well with my taste in humour. Wain takes this very obvious acknowledgement of romantic comedy conventions to the very forefront of the film’s point. Apparently there was no limit as to how far he was allowed to go by the powers that be and this creative licence doesn’t die as the film develops.
In order to exemplify this charactercher of rom coms the film sets it’s main couple of Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) in a restaurant with another couple explaining how they met. This opening scene acts as the anchor for the whole film coming in at intervals as we see how these two came to be. Some of the best laughs come during these points as they tie in brilliantly with what is being described in flashbacks and then the on going complications between both couples.
However what really holds the film together with solid consistent laughs are the fantastic gags delivered perfectly by Rudd and Poehler. My favourite scene from the film has to be where they play off the typical bookshop meeting. Following their first disastrous meeting at a party the night before the two begin squabbling at each only to quickly find that common interest between them. It just so happens that fiction books acts as the bond to which they suddenly feel in awe of each other. It’s not only a fantastic reference and jape of a typical romantic plot device but the scene is so well orchestrated by director and actors alike that it makes it all the more funny.
To add to the brilliant performances from the two leads, who I imagine found this thoroughly enjoyable, the film features a number of other great sub characters. Needless to say they all once more further enhance the parody of rom coms and the best example is Joel’s romantic challenge, Eggbert. Finely played by Ed Helms the accountant is obsessively in love with Molly despite having nothing in similar. However they manage to find themselves dating only for it to fall apart because well Eggbert doesn’t believe in fiction books, naturally. There’s a few other appearances which help add to the mix, for example Cobie Smulders plays Joel’s stereotypically horrible ex and Christopher Meloni is the manager of a large sweet company about to shut down Molly’s shop.
They came together is a clever observation on the conventions of romantic comedies and it’s consistent jokes, matched with well tuned dialogue makes for a very funny outing.