REVIEW: The Purge: Anarchy

18 07 2014

Purge AnarchyWhen I was 6 years old, I visited my grandparents’ house while they were riveted to CSPAN coverage of the growing scandal embroiling then-President Bill Clinton.  Curious about what could possibly be so interesting, I asked everyone I came across who Monica Lewinsky was and what Clinton had done.

Just because I knew vague terms relating to what was happening in the headlines did not mean I was qualified to talk intelligently about political issues.  The same is true of “The Purge: Anarchy,” the sequel to last summer’s surprise horror hit.  This film, which went from studio greenlight to the multiplex in little over a year, tries to fool you into thinking it has some intellectual to say about contemporary society.

In reality, though, its social commentary isn’t half as deep as the ridiculous plot holes that mire the proceedings.  If the premise – all crime becomes legal for one night to ensure harmony for the other 364 – felt absurdly simple in “The Purge,” imagine a film where the studio puts the writer on such a time and money crunch that there’s no real time to think it through.  That’s “The Purge: Anarchy” in a nutshell.

Writer/director James DeMonaco really runs with the spirit of 2011, creating a film that would make many an Occupy member giddy with its vitriol directed towards the one percent.  He hints at tackling gun violence, economic inequality, and corporate control of government, but he’s incapable of forming a coherent thought about any of them.

Perhaps most tellingly of how facile “The Purge: Anarchy” really is, DeMonaco completely collapses the issue of class conflict into race war.  The rich are all white, and the poor are almost entirely black (and are led by a Samuel L. Jackson impersonator).  While race is undeniably a large part of discussions of social status, it cannot account for it entirely.  By discounting all other factors, DeMonaco squanders a chance to get his audience thinking about pressing questions.

It’s not likely they would do so, anyways, given how ridiculously the rest of the film plays out.  The proletariat protagonists are all too simple to elicit sympathy or our worry for their survival.  The rich villains, in DeMonaco’s rush to indict them, turn out to be little more than parodic figures.  The storyline does nothing to expand up on the original; in fact, “The Purge: Anarchy” really only serves to dumb down the future franchise so the films can be churned out like Big Macs.  C2stars





REVIEW: Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

17 07 2014

Elaine StritchJust last weekend, I curled up in bed with my laptop to watch “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” on Netflix.  I found myself pleasantly entertained, but in the midst of an onslaught of new releases, I didn’t have a chance to bang out a quick review.  Then, I was checking the news at work this morning and saw the sad news that Elaine Stritch had passed away at the age of 89.

Suddenly, a review the documentary that had her at its center felt like the most important thing for me to write.  Though I may have to write in a different tense about Stritch’s life now, her legacy lives on and will certainly never be forgotten.  “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” gives Stritch the proper bow for her twilight years, and fans of an old era of Broadway stars will no doubt find it rousing.

Chiemi Karasawa’s film captures some of her final years as she prepares for a swan song cabaret of Steven Sondheim’s classic tunes.  Her camera catches the infamously blunt Stritch at her most cantankerously acerbic best on many an occasion, generating quite a few great laughs.  But as Tina Fey puts it, people are willing to put up with her curmudgeonly charm because she’s so great at what she does.

Karasawa does a great job of showing Stritch’s incredible work ethic.  Even though disease and age hampered Stritch from being at full capacity, she still pushed herself to play a recurring role on “30 Rock” and give her fans one last chance to see her perform live.  The back half of “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” consists of mostly watching Stritch belt out some Broadway melodies, a delight for fans of musical theater (and likely a bore for anyone else).

The true strength of the documentary, though, is not watching Stritch’s pantless performances.  “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” is so much more than filmed theater; it’s a look at a performer confronting her own mortality.  Stritch preferred to say that she was not getting old – she was getting older, just like everyone else.  She approached the prospect of her aging with humor in public, often quoting Bette Davis’ maxim “getting old is not for sissies.”

Karasawa’s extreme close-ups, however, penetrate deeply into Stritch’s psyche and show a startling vulnerability.  These moments are nothing short of stirring as they reveal her deep fears of disappointing her audience.  Fans of Stritch will undoubtedly be moved by seeing a consummate actress let her guard down.  Playing herself was perhaps the most gripping part she ever had.  B+3stars





REVIEW: Wish I Was Here

16 07 2014

Wish I Was HereZach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” caught a lot of flak for raising additional funds through crowdfunding on Kickstarter, so I found myself watching the film with an especially sharp eye on how the budget was being spent.  My friend and I found ourselves, perhaps cynically, coming to the conclusion that Braff was using the fans’ money on less necessary frills like a Maserati or the sporadic CGI-heavy sci-fi reveries.

Yet if these somewhat excessive flourishes are what it takes to get an otherwise deeply felt movie like this made, I will make that trade-off every day of the week.  “Wish I Was Here” is an uncommonly thoughtful dramedy about life and death, a breed of film that has sadly become an endangered species.  What Braff crafts is something akin to a Woody Allen film scored to the Bon Iver Pandora station.

That’s not to say, however, that Braff has quite the effortless mastery of Allen’s best.  He doesn’t quite grasp the often tricky economy of ensemble comedy, bungling subplots involving Josh Gad and Kate Hudson.  And at times, the film gets a little bit uncomely in its wild fluctuations of tone.

But even so, “Wish I Was Here” is rather endearing.  Its brand of messy is a lifelike one, not a lazy or sloppy filmmaking one.  Braff throws everything he’s got against the wall – I like to believe it’s everything he’s been thinking in the decade since “Garden State” – and not all of it hits.  What does stick, though, teems with such raw and poignant emotion that it’s easy to overlook the film’s faults.

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REVIEW: Sex Tape

15 07 2014

Sex Tape” plays (pun fully intended) like a filmed first table read of the script in many ways.

All the plot holes, inconsistencies, and just plain implausibilities have yet to be ironed out of the story.  You can see the promise of the premise, but it just hasn’t been realized yet.  Not to mention, someone needs to sit down and bang out another draft or three of the screenplay.

Some of the good jokes are there, too.  “Sex Tape” features a quite entertaining supporting cast, topped by Rob Lowe as a ridiculously eccentric and bizarre corporate exec, that carries the film.  It lifts gags liberally from other films (stealing rather egregiously from “Father of the Bride”), some of which work when grafted into the storyline.  Others feel rather tired and could have been replaced with fresher, more memorable laughs.

Perhaps the biggest indicator, though, that the film is stuck at table read status is the energy level.  “Sex Tape” is an hour and a half of unbridled energy, particularly from leads Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel.  Normally, that would be a compliment, but it’s a critique here as director Jake Kasdan mistakes yelling and exaggeration as a substitute for humor and humanity.

Hypothetically, if I had a sex tape of myself in the hands of friends’ iPads, I’d probably be ending all my sentences with five exclamation points like Segel and Diaz’s characters Jay and Annie.  But they are so over-the-top that it’s hard to connect to them in any way.  They don’t feel like real people, so it limits how much we actually care about whether or not they can keep friends and family from seeing their three-hour sexual odyssey.

In fact, if I had to guess, Segel and Diaz spoke all their lines in excitement after seeing the bonus check they were getting from Apple for all the blatant product promotion.  It would certainly explain why “iPad” is every other word in the movie; even reality TV writers can hide their corporate sponsors more subtly.  C2stars





REVIEW: Boyhood

14 07 2014

BoyhoodWriter/director Alexander Payne has said of cinema’s advent, “I think that mankind had been looking for this magnificently verisimilar art form which really mirrors life.”  And like an answer to an unspoken prayer, “Boyhood” arrives after over a century of narrative cinema to show that the medium has far from exhausted its capabilities of wondrously recalling life beyond the screen.

Richard Linklater’s film is at odds with notions of conventional fictional cinema, resembling a curated ethnography in its creation.  “Boyhood” condenses twelve years of shooting a young boy growing up through his grade school years into under three hours, not into a prescribed narrative arc but into a singular sort of time capsule.

It’s not crossing off significant life experiences of childhood and adolescence from a preordained bucket list.  It’s not out to provide an alternate cultural history through a child’s eyes.  It’s not trying to make some grand statement about the ever-changing nature of boyhood (nor about the various things that seem to stay the same).  It’s not even necessarily moving towards any sort of dramatic climax other than the ultimate one we all have to face, that of the end of time.

Instead, “Boyhood” focuses mostly on the mundane moments and the routine conversations, so literally portraying “slices of life” that no film can really lay claim to the phrase anymore.  Yet in the sheer act of capturing these everyday occurrences, Linklater elevates the profane to the level of sacred.  These brief and otherwise insignificant flashes of childhood are nothing, yet they are also somehow everything.

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REVIEW: Chef

13 07 2014

Summer 2014 might host the documentary “Life Itself” that exalts critics, yet it also boasts Jon Favreau’s “Chef” that tears them down.  In the film, director Jon Favreau steps in front of the camera as Carl Casper, a chef whose meteoric rise in the culinary world has coasted to a plateau preparing dishes for the elite by the time we meet up with him.  Critics help build his reputation, but they are also apparently responsible for tearing it down.

Forced by his boss to prepare a rather formulaic meal when an influential foodie blogger Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) stops by and subsequently receives a write-up indicating disappointment.  In his eyes, however, Casper might as well have received a review similar to that one of Guy Fieri’s restaurant penned by Pete Wells of The New York Times.  The now-notorious lambasting featured the critic mercilessly hurling rhetorical questions at the chef to the point where it seems like a personal vendetta.

Favreau bakes his opinions on the critical establishment following the roasting of his 2011 film “Cowboys & Aliens” into “Chef,” indicating an almost personal affront to the negative notices.  His attitude towards reviewers resembles that of a petulant child refusing to believe he can do anything wrong.  And despite a slapped-on ending to redeem the critics, Favreau never seems to acknowledge that he might just share a common goal with them – that of promoting and advancing a craft.

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REVIEW: Tammy

12 07 2014

With their collaboration on “Tammy,” writer/star Melissa McCarthy and writer/director Ben Falcone construct what may very well be the cinematic equivalent of Sarah Palin’s infamous “bridge to nowhere.”  It’s a film about a road trip to nowhere that gets everyone involved in its making nowhere.

Coming off an Oscar nomination and three box office hits, it’s a shame McCarthy spent what was likely carte blanche with the studios on a project that offers nothing new for her talents.  Even though she was so heavily involved with the film’s creation, “Tammy” offers little humor other than jokes at the expense of her character’s weight or lacking mental capacity.  It’s almost as if she wants the two characteristics to be linked, which baffles me.

Was the point is to prove that McCarthy can play the woman-child archetype as well as, say, Vince Vaughn can play the man-child?  Or that a character like McCarthy’s Tammy can pull in a romantic conquest in spite of her figure and eccentric personality?  I could maybe see “Tammy” sounding like a great feminist victory in its premise, yet in execution, the movie is every bit as bumbling as its titular character.  If McCarthy really wanted to do something radical, she should have made a film where her figure was never addressed at all.

Over the course of 96 minutes (that feel much longer), Falcone and McCarthy give us a whole lot of time on the road with Tammy and her grandmother Pearl, an alcoholic played by Susan Sarandon.  Tammy and Pearl don’t quite have any grand purpose to be road tripping in the first place other than … well, something had to give “Tammy” a plot!

The quite-literal journey in the story is the perfect opportunity to explore a similar progression in the protagonist, but they can never quite figure out what virtues or values Tammy is going to discover.  The film toys with the idea of her gaining self-appreciation while also contemplating a familial love angle, never taking the time to fully develop one or the other.  It ultimately slaps on an ending favoring a rediscovered bond between its two female leads, and the conclusion feels rather unearned.

That’s not to say that McCarthy did not earn the opportunity to make “Tammy,” though.  The fact that this is film she chose to make from that position, however, is likely to remain a question mark for the rest of her career.  C-1halfstars





REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

11 07 2014

Dawn of ApesThe dominant attitude that seems to prevail when making sequels is to give people more of the same.  If it functioned well enough the first time to justify a second helping, something had to be working, right?

Matt Reeves’ “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” on the other hand, completely defies the logic.  While Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 series reboot “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” focused on scientific ethics and human progress, its follow-up goes in a completely different direction.  If it weren’t for the astonishing motion-capture apes, the casual onlooker might not even be able to pair the films in the same series.

I must applaud Fox, the studio willing to front the $170 million budget, for allowing a new director to take one of their most vital franchises into uncharted territory.  Reeves uses no marquee names (unless you count Gary Oldman), focuses mainly on the apes, and never caves to a large-scale battle that could level an entire urban area.  That was likely not an immediately confidence-inspiring vision, especially given the tepid commercial reception to Reeves’ 2010 arty horror film “Let Me In.”

But “Dawn” works so well because it does not feel tethered to anyone’s agenda other than that of its creative team.  The film has the ability to explore what the series can be as opposed to how much it can stretch what it already is.  Reeves makes some exciting discoveries with this freedom that further energize what was already a fascinating franchise.  He leaves us excited for whatever sequel may follow, despite leaving no obvious indications of what the next film might entail.

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F.I.L.M. of the Week (July 11, 2014)

11 07 2014

Gimme the Loot

I saw plenty of crap on the Croisette back in 2012, mainly because I was so obsessed with seeing hyped Cannes official competition titles like “On the Road” and “Cosmopolis.”  Not only did those turn out to be duds, but the time I spent trying to see them precluded me from finding smaller gems at the festival.  Had I been smart, I would have sought out a film like “Gimme the Loot,” Adam Leon’s feature debut that percolates with an exciting energy.

This pick for “F.I.L.M. of the Week” (for those who might have forgotten, that’s First-Class, Independent Little-Known Movie) announces the arrival of a fresh new voice in cinema.  Leon, in just 75 minutes, crafts an engaging film that tells a more complete narrative than some films twice its length.  (Cough, “Django Unchained.”)

Leon also looks at New York, quickly becoming the hipster capital of indie cinema, from an invigoratingly different perspective – that of two teenaged graffiti artists.  “Exit Through the Gift Shop” this is not, though.  Out to prove they can accomplish the mythical feat of “bombing,” or tagging with graffiti, the big apple at Shea Stadium, Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sophia (Tashiana Washington) scour across the city to procure the necessary funds to gain the access they need.

Their quest takes them head to head with rivals, awkwardly phoning in old debts, and trying to swindle clueless upper-class whites.  Malcolm and Sophia split up for a good chunk of the film, but the joys of “Gimme the Loot” come from watching their interactions.  Hickson and Washington set up such a fun, interesting dynamic between their characters that feels nothing less than authentic.  The friendship is so believable that they might as well be siblings, bluntly bickering from a place of deep love.

Leon allows the film to play to the strength of his performers, yet it still reflects his prowess as a filmmaker.  It highlights a class and race divide in New York City without ever being preachy … or without really even calling attention to itself.  When it comes to cinematic treats, this is one sweet loot.





REVIEW: Life Itself

10 07 2014

Life ItselfFilm critic Roger Ebert inspired many people and touched countless lives, ranging from saving Martin Scorsese from self-implosion to many much smaller-scale interactions.  One such example is a brief response to a blog comment he made to a then-sixteen year-old movie writer who had just decided to try his hand at scribbling down his opinions about film.

In case you hadn’t guessed, that writer was me, and I still count that sentence among the greatest compliments I have ever received.  (It still, to date, features underneath the name of my site in the header of my blog.)  It likely didn’t take him more than five seconds to write, but it may very well have provided the fuel to sustain the site beyond just dipping my toe in the uncharted waters of the blogosphere.

Life Itself,” Steve James’ documentary on Ebert, provides the ultimate celebration of his life and work.  He gathers an eclectic group of friends and admirers, a tribute to just how wide-reaching Ebert’s influence and esteem truly was.  Anecodotes and commentary range from members of the critical establishment like A.O. Scott and Richard Corliss to filmmakers who he befriended over the years, such as Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Ramin Bahrani (“At Any Price“), and Ava DuVernay (“Middle of Nowhere“).

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REVIEW: Jodorowsky’s Dune

9 07 2014

Jodrowsky's DuneCannes Film Festival – Director’s Fortnight, 2013

Is it possible that one of the most influential forces in the history of cinema as we know it was a film that wasn’t actually made?  That’s the case made by director Frank Pavich in his documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” a celebration of a landmark in science-fiction cinema that never left pre-production.  And darned if we aren’t educated, entertained, and slightly awe-struck by the time the film ends.

The popular novel “Dune” ultimately did meet the silver screen in David Lynch’s 1984 cult classic.  But that would pale in comparison the version Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mexican master of the surreal, was planning in the mid-1970s.  Involving everyone from Pink Floyd to Orson Welles and even Salvador Dalí, his take on “Dune” would certainly be unlike anything the movies had ever seen.

But rather than mourning the midnight movie that could have been, Pavich uses his documentary as a platform for celebrating the boundless creativity of Jodorowsky and all the obstacles such a singular vision can create.  It’s undeniably fun to watch Jodorowsky interviewed about all his grandiose plans, and such energy serves as a wonderful reminder of how blissful it is to watch a director revel in the joy of moviemaking.

Pavich also takes care to show us all the ways in which Jodorowsky’s unfinished project trickled out into the industry and popped up in several landmark films.  Featuring appearances by acclaimed filmmakers like Nicolas Winding Refn (who dedicated his Cannes 2013 entry “Only God Forgives” to Jodorwosky) along with rabidly zealous journalists such as Devin Faraci and Drew McWeeny, “Jodorowsky’s Dune” makes for one heck of a party for the cinema.  Its allure is practically impossible to resist if you love movies.  B+3stars





REVIEWS: Nymphomaniac, Vols. I and II

8 07 2014

Nymphomaniac

There was understandably a lot of talk surrounding the alleged pornographic content of Lars Von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac,” a two-part, four hour opus on human sexuality.  It got plenty of coverage online – thank you, always horny Internet users who fall for the first click-bait title about sex – and I honestly was never quite sure if the actors were participating in live acts or not.

But I sat through the entire film (albeit in two sittings) and hardly found the explicit content to be the most off-putting thing about it.

In fact, it rather made sense for a movie like this to show sexuality so openly since it is literally about all the complications and eccentricities of the libido.  That doesn’t make it easy to watch, nor does it make portraying sex acts artistic.  It does, however, give them some sense of place (unlike the rather unnecessarily extended scenes in “Blue is the Warmest Color“).

No, what made “Nymphomaniac” tough to watch and downright insufferable at times is Von Trier’s seemingly never-ending supply of pretentious commentary.  He structures the film as a conversation about the travails of sex addict Joe, played with dogged dedication by Charlotte Gainsbourg, with professor Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard).  As they walk through her life, each provides intellectual commentary on the very nature of sexuality.

Von Trier clearly has a lot to say, and his appraisals can be quite enlightening.  Yet he writes the film in such a haughty, overblown tone that it can’t help but get quite aggravating at a certain point.  Von Trier supplies endless metaphors and then unpacks them completely rather than letting us explore them.  The experience of “Nymphomaniac” is akin to locking yourself in a room for four hours with Von Trier, who greets you from his ivory tower mentality with the exhortation, “sit down and let me educate you about sex because I know everything about it!”

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REVIEW: Bad Words

7 07 2014

Bad WordsJason Bateman has long been saddled with the reputation as a go-to guy for playing the uptight, no-nonsense straight man in comedy.  After having finally watched “Arrested Development,” I can see why he got typecast – he’s quite skilled at it.  But too much of a good thing can get quite boring, and he’s rarely given a great supporting cast to whom he can react.

It appears that in order to get a different kind of role, Bateman had to step behind the camera himself for “Bad Words.”  His performance recalls two others in films that also began with the same word: Billy Bob Thornton in “Bad Santa” and Cameron Diaz in “Bad Teacher.”  Bateman tackles a character, Guy Trilby, who is more or less irredeemably rotten to the core, save the one classic written-in soft spot that gets exposed over the course of the film.

Guy exploits a loophole in a national spelling bee – he never graduated from middle school – and enters himself into competition at the ripe old age of 40.  His presence alone angers parents, but they’d probably put a bullet through his head if they knew the shenanigans he pulled to fluster their kids.  Stuck in arrested development as an 11-year-old bully, Guy ruthlessly humiliates vulnerable and insecure teenagers into making mistakes at the microphone.

Bateman and writer Andrew Dodge clearly intend these moments to be funny, but all too often, “Bad Words” seems too far away from any sort of moral compass.  Rather than eliciting laughs, they activate our sympathy and pity for the kids Guy is picking on.  It’s not unlike the feeling I had watching “The Wolf of Wall Street,” wondering how I could possibly find humor and levity at the expense of someone else’s livelihood.

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REVIEW: The Sacrament

6 07 2014

The SacramentIt’s hard to think of any stylistic development of the past five years with quite the impact of found footage.  Once “Paranormal Activity” arrived out of nowhere with a resounding bang, it seemed like its DIY cinema verité aesthetic could be found wherever you looked.  From cop films (“End of Watch“) to superhero movies (“Chronicle“) and even teen party flicks (“Project X“), everyone was doing it – perhaps as a cost-cutting measure, or maybe just to fall in line with the newest trend.

Yet very few of these movies have actually committed to the style as the main vehicle for storytelling.  Ti West, on the other hand, employs it as more than a half-hearted gimmick in “The Sacrament.”  Under his direction, the camera becomes our eyes and ears, our only means of accessing the events of the narrative.  West’s dedication pays off in spades as his film constitutes one of the most absorbing and frightening experiences of the year.

I do wish West hadn’t been quite so beholden to recreating the Jonestown mass sacrifice (that’s the one with the Kool-Aid) since his command the technique creates a truly ominous atmosphere.  He doesn’t entirely recreate the famous cult settlement, but West does little more than essentially plant it in the present day.

The camera through which we experience “The Sacrament” comes courtesy of Vice reporters Jake and Sam (Joe Swanberg and AJ Bowen), who join colleague Patrick (Kentucker Audley) as he goes to check the safety of his sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz) at the mysterious commune Eden Parish.  The film begins with their extended journalistically-oriented overview of the group’s calm facade lasting nearly 45 minutes … but then the Vice team more or less causes the collapse of the Parish’s fragile community.

West, in the final hour, lets loose into an absolutely nightmarish terror.  “The Sacrament” quickly and efficiently shows the allure of a charismatic leader like Eden Parish’s “Father” (Gene Jones) and how quickly he can self-destruct the edifice he has built.  It’s not redefining the subgenre of cult horror, but West crafts one scarily good movie that ought to give anyone a potent fright.  B+3stars





REVIEW: They Came Together

5 07 2014

They Came TogetherGenres naturally go through cycles, and right now, the romantic comedy is in a bit of a slump.  When I started writing this blog nearly five years ago, it was riding high with smash hits like “The Proposal” and “The Ugly Truth.”  If you look at the market now, there hasn’t really been a rom-com hit since 2011’s “Crazy Stupid Love,” largely because those kinds of movies just aren’t being made.

Why exactly they have gone out of fashion so dramatically is anyone’s guess.  It’s likely a combination of many factors, but two films point out some of the reasons why no one is rushing to finance “28 Dresses.”  Back in 2009, “(500) Days of Summer” took a revisionist angle on the genre, pointing out many romantic comedy conventions that needed to be reworked in order to be more in touch with the audience.

And now, in 2014, “They Came Together” marks the point where the genre’s hallmarks are so recognizable that they can be mercilessly sent up in an unrelenting satire.  David Wain, the great mind behind “Wet Hot American Summer” and “Role Models,” dismantles the romantic comedy with confidence and pinpoint accuracy.

His script lays bare all the subtext that most of us blindly accept when we encounter a standard genre pic, pointing out everything from the stereotypes of the characters (clumsy girl, non-threateningly masculine guy) to the role of New York City (like another character).  “They Came Together” is at its best when Wain performs his point-by-point deconstruction of all the clichés that normally trap the genre, due largely in part to how wonderfully Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler can cut up while sending up the trademarks.

“They Came Together” winds up coming slightly undone, however, by the sophomoric silliness that fills the moments that aren’t so brutally self-aware.  Wain is usually quite clever with his comedy (the notable exception being “Wanderlust“), and here, he drops to the level of Seth MacFarlane in “Family Guy” or “Ted.”  It’s funny on occasion but wildly inconsistent overall with one joke bombing and the next hitting the sweet spot.  Thankfully, it never quite stoops to the level of the movies it lambasts, but Wain might have had one of the most spectacular spoofs of all time on his hands had he just stuck to the more high-minded humor.  B-2stars








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