Whatever happened to good spoof movies? It seems like after Mel Brooks made Robin Hood: Men in Tights all the spoof movies after that just went to shit. With Brooks’ movies and other such as Airplane they were subtle spoofs. Nothing was in your face or trying to be funny they were just funny. I cannot even tell you how many times I have seen Brooks’ Young Frankenstein or Blazzing Saddles or High Anxiety and I catch things I did not catch the other thousands times I watched them. The only modern movie I can think of that follows in the same line as Brooks’ spoofs has been Wet Hot American Summer from 2001 which spoofed a summer camp in 1980. That movie was written and directed by David Wain and Michael Showalter and they recently wrote and directed They Came Together. Yet again it is a spoof movie and it is one of the best spoofs on the romantic comedy genre.
Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) are at dinner with their friends Kyle (Bill Hader) and Karen (Ellie Kemper). Kyle and Karen discuss how they first met and want Joel and Molly to discuss how they first met and fell in love. Right away they say their relationship was like a romantic comedy with the third character being New York City and that if it were to be a movie it would start off with aerial shots of the city. And sure enough it does.
They say their relationship was hate at first sight. Neither was looking to be in a relationship at the moment. Joel worked for a large corporate candy company and Molly had her own small candy store. Joel’s company was creating a large store right across from Molly’s and planned to put her store out of business. They wind up meeting at a party at their friends house. They hate each other and say really funny and very stupid things.
After this the movie follows the typical rom-com formula but this being Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd in a comedy made by David Wain and Michael Showalter with so many popular comedic actors the way the story plays out is anything but typical. It takes the typical rom-com clichés and completely blows them out of proportion. I cannot even explain what happens because nothing would be funny you would have to see the movie to understand. There are a lot of running gags that usually happen in rom-coms like a character telling another to wait and then they something important like “Thanks” or “I’m sorry.” Another one has Joel and his younger brother Jake (Max Greenfield) talking about how Jake does not have a job and he is trying to start up a company that will not go anywhere, and that Joel had to raise Jake after their parents died, etc. It's got a montage, crazy parents, crazy ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, and silly life-realization scenes that are just totally genius.
They Came Together is absurd, ridiculous, and perfectly entertaining. To me it is one of the best comedies I have ever seen. The cast could not have been better. Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd were fantastic together. I do not think either one of them has a serious bone in their bodies. Christopher Meloni is in a few scenes, yes Stabler from Law and Order: SVU is being funny and hilariously so (if you want to die laughing at him watching Wet Hot American Summer). I just love the way it makes fun of rom-coms. The way rom-coms are written today is just awful. They are so predictable and just stupid. They Came Together shows just how predictable and stupid they have become. Yet you know the characters are just comedic versions of “serious” rom-com characters and, oddly enough, you still root for Joel and Molly to be together.
My review of They Came Together really does not do the movie justice. Just trust me when I say that if you enjoy comedy movies in any sense you will like this one. As you watch it you can pick out about ten different rom-coms that this movie is making fun of and you will most likely never see them the same way again. As I said it follows in the steps of Mel Brooks and does a pretty damn good job.