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Movie review: 'They Came Together' smartly sends up romantic comedy clichés

Published June 26, 2014 3:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"They Came Together," a spoof of romantic-comedy conventions, is a one-joke movie, but it's a joke told well, by people who know how.

The joke director David Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter (the guys from "Stella" and "The State," who also made "Wet Hot American Summer") tell is, essentially, "isn't it funny how all romantic comedies do the same dumb things?"

They distill these dumb things in a single story, of Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler), who meet and instantly hate each other when his candy conglomerate starts building an outlet across the street from her adorable candy shop. Faster than you can say "You've Got Mail," the pair move from loathing to respect to romance, told through musical montages and self-referential dialogue.

Wain and Showalter equip both parties with supporting players, the funniest being Joel's buddies, who are depicted as single-trait archetypes: the horndog (Ken Marino), the philosopher (Jack McBrayer) and the married guy (Kenan Thompson).

Rudd, who has played this "handsome but not threatening" character for Wain in "Role Models" and "Wanderlust," is deliciously deadpan, while Poehler plays to her wackier strengths.

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'They Came Together'

Opens Friday, June 27, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated R for language and sexual content; 83 minutes.