July 11, 2014 — The romantic comedy is a tough genre to crack. They may be plenty in number, but it’s rare that one comes along that it is well written and enjoyable, without being too sappy or cliché.
If you like romcoms, and you appreciate a good parody, most likely you’ll enjoy “They Came Together”, the movie that celebrates the sappy and cliché, because it spoofs the romantic comedy genre in similar fashion to what “Airplane” did for disaster movies, and what “Scary Movie” did for horror films.
“They Came Together” is not quite as slapstick as the other two examples above, but it is silly, funny and enjoyable, thanks to the likable leads, Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. Some critics describe their effort as a slap in the face to Nora Ephron, who wrote the genre so well, as her screenplays of “When Harry Met Sally” and “You’ve Got Mail” play heavily into this film. However, I see it as more of a tribute. Like they say, you know you’ve made it when they parody you on “Saturday Night Live”.
Ephron’s films were well written, and not necessarily the sugary sweet romcoms that are easy to make fun of, that are also parodied in “They Came Together”. Still, it’s the good ones that are clearly recognizable, like Ephron’s films, and “Jerry Maguire”. More subtlety, there is a touch of “Pretty Woman”, which deserves a slap in the face, in my opinion, for making prostitution look like a fairy tale. What is romantic, or funny about life on the streets and working for a pimp?
The supporting cast (Ed Helms, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Cobie Smulders, Michael Ian Black, and Christopher Meloni) are top-notch, too. It’s easy to see why they wanted to be a part of this film, even in small roles. It seemed they had a great time making it. Sure, there are a few scenes that go way over the top, but if you’re going to do a parody, you might as well go to the extremes.
“They Came Together” opened in theaters on June 27. It’s also playing On Demand as part of Comcast’s same day as theaters promotion, which I am enjoying to the max. While I love to go to the theater to watch movies, there is something convenient about watching new releases in your living room, and at a more reasonable price than a movie ticket.