David Wain is a funny man, from his early days as part of MTV’s The State and Wet Hot American Summer, to the more recent Children’s Hospital, Role Models and Wanderlust. This movie is his fourth big screen directorial outing and his fourth to be launched at Sundance Film Festival.
They Came Together written with State companion Michael Showalter is Wain’s take on the romantic comedy genre starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as two New Yorkers in a “story that couldn’t of happened anywhere but New York”. There’s the standard romantic comedy tropes… they first hate each other but then find love through their mutual love of fiction books (see the clip below), she runs Upper Sweet Side sweet shop and he works for Candy Systems and Research, the big evil mega company who plan to take them down, the sassy best friend, the Norah Jones soundtrack…. The list goes on and on.
Both Rudd and Poehler are perfect for the film, you can’t imagine the film without either of them in it. Rudd has been in so many Rom Coms himself, maybe this was his chance to get his own back on the genre? The supporting cast is also littered with comedy favourites and includes star turns from The League’s Jason Mantzoukas, Max Greenfield, Ed Helms and Michael Ian Black.
With Wain reuniting with Showalter on the writing (the pair also wrote Wet Hot American Summer), this film really takes the absurd comedy to the max, and in some ways harks back to classic genre-troping comedies such as Naked Gun and Hot Shots with the level of absurdity. There’s one hilarious “you can say that again” scene which amazes and dumbfounds you, not really believing that a movie would do that. It’s pretty awesome and great to see the level of surreal comedy that Wain brings to TV shows Children’s Hospital and Newsreaders being applied once again to one of his movies. Role Models and Wanderlust were both great movies, but this movie is on a par with Wet Hot American Summer as some of Wain’s best work.