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Along Came Polly (2004)

  Directed by: John Hamburg
Written by: John Hamburg
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ben Stiller
Links: Along Came Polly on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"BS BS (but PSH is A-OK)" - a review by mino

Look, I'll happily go on record as saying I don't get Ben Stiller. He's not particularly endearing, he's not particularly funny, and as far as I can judge, he's not particularly good-looking. I mean, he's not the least funny guy around, but I don't think he's a comedy genius. Hell, he's not even the funniest one in his family, that's for sure, because his dad Jerry Stiller is certainly a sight funnier than he is.

Zoolander (2001)? Meet the Parents (2000)? Keeping the Faith (2000)? They're all amusing, sure, but none of them are comedy genius as far as I'm concerned. So, sorry, but the appearance of Ben Stiller in a movie just isn't enough to suck me in. And as for Jennifer Aniston — well, look. I know for a fact there are people who get sucked in to movies by her, as well, because they keep putting her in movies, but as far as I'm concerned she has all the screen presence and charisma of a bowling ball (and I ain't talkin' 'bout that ultra-charismatic bowling ball that got licked by John Turturro in The Big Lebowski (1998), neither, I'm talkin' 'bout a normal boring bowling ball).

Anyway, here they are, together at last: Stiller and Aniston in a romantic comedy! Hurrah! Break out the champagne!

Now I'm not sure there's much that can be said about Along Came Polly beyond that. It's a romantic comedy with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. Reuben (Stiller) breaks up with his wife after she has an affair on their honeymoon. He meets Polly (Aniston). Some stuff happens, which let's face it, isn't going to surprise anyone. You'll either like it or you won't, and you probably know the answer before you even open the DVD case.

There are a couple of things that make Along Came Polly a little bit special, though: and neither of them are either of the two leads. Rather, Hank Azaria as the ridiculously-accented diving instructor with whom Stiller's new bride has an affair is very funny, in a Hank Azaria-with-a-stupid-accent kind of way. Even better, though, is Philip Seymour Hoffman in an absolutely brilliant turn as Sandy Lyle, Reuben's best friend, who is a former child star of the Anthony Michael Hall vein. Lyle has grown into a bitter and twisted man who is never going to outlive his past, and Hoffman is truly hilarious playing this role to the hilt.

Unfortunately, Azaria and Hoffman aren't enough to save Along Came Polly. It's a totally by-the-book romantic comedy, and there's not a single thing in there apart from those two that makes it worthwhile. The lead pair have virtually no charisma, there is a bunch of stupid physical comedy that really should have just been ditched (ooh! pooh jokes! stupid animals! hahaha! how hilarious!), there are a couple of horribly wooden performances from bit-players which pretty much cancel out Azaria and Hoffman (Alec Baldwin as Reuben's boss, Bryan Brown as a powerful Australian client), and the whole thing just seems generally cobbled-together.

Allow me, if I may, to conclude with an official Pearl of Wisdom from yours truly: if Philip Seymour Hoffman can't save a movie, it's not worth saving.

mino gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 7 Sep 2004

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. be like the hippo.. don't shart!!

    and J.A is good in The Good Boy and of course, Office Space...
    she puts the O in O-Face

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from jeddles (http://livejournal.com/~jed666) on Mon 20 Sep 2004 18:19 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 8.00 (1 rating)

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