Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Awkward, gross, funny.
This film was selected from ‘The 250’
When it comes to quality comedy, Ben Stiller is sometimes hit and miss, but he’s still a personal favorite of mine. The movies that he makes tend to have a good blend of both heart and humor, and the same can be said about his 2004 film, Along Came Polly. If you’re not sure which one that is, it’s the one that had commercials everywhere with Ben Still getting his face smashed into a big, fat, hairy, and sweaty guy during a game of basketball. That was the preferred shot for every trailer. Can I just say – yeah that was kinda funny, but there’s more to the movie than that? Anyways – how does this film do ten years later?
When newlywed Reuben Feffer walks in on his bride sleeping with the scuba instructer in the middle of their honeymoon, his life hits an all-time low, so he returns to the only thing he know won’t let him down – his job as a risk assessor. Then, along came Polly (couldn’t resist). Polly and Reuben went to middle school together, and she’s basically the exact opposite of him. She likes to take as many risks as possible. Heck, she’s the very description of someone that practices in the art of Carpe Diem-ing. Opposites definitely attract, but for a risk-assessor like Reuben, she isn’t exactly on the top of his “safe” list, which is bound to be a problem.
You know what really makes this movie work? Ben Stiller and Jennifer Anniston. Obviously it’s a romantic comedy, and that’s to be expected, but as typical of a rom-com this film is, they really add some flavor to the mix. I don’t know if any of us thought a great romantic pairing would be Stiller and Aniston, but here we are, and it somehow works. Beyond that though, what works is the central idea behind everything. You can’t just have comedy and be happy with that, the glue to a good comedy is not the plot, but the concept.
The concept of this film is somewhere in between opposites-attract, escaping your safety zone, and taking risks to fully experience life. Those three really shine in this film when mixed with Stiller’s unique style of comedy. Which, by the way, is mostly awkward humor mixed with your typical “ew” humor, like bathroom stuff. That’s actually the same basic style of humor Meet the Parents had. It wasn’t as funny, though. That may be because this was more adult-centered which doesn’t feel natural all the time, but it still does have quite a few effective jokes.
I’ve seen comedies that have had good jokes all the way through, bad jokes all the way through, but most comedies lie somewhere inbetween, which is exactly where Along Came Polly belongs. I do wish some of the jokes were better than they were, though.
Ben Stiller as Reuben and Jennifer Anniston as Polly are really great in their roles, and they have wonderful chemistry. Beyond that, the entire concept and plot work really well with the cast and comedy, making it feel like a pretty decent comedy all around.
Unfortunately, Along Came Polly suffers from being a tad forgettable in the long run, as some of the jokes really pale and dry. People just don’t care anymore. You know what? I don’t blame them either.
Reuben: You know, they really should tell you if they’re gonna just let Komodo dragons run loose around the hotel.