They Came Together (2014)

Poster for They Came Together

I’d love to say They Came Together has enough good material to make a 2-minute trailer, but I just checked and even the trailer isn’t great. The title is instructive – your first thought is, “What a great double entendre for a rom com sendup.” Later you realize the joke exists in a void, unconnected to anything in the movie except the most literal (unfunny) reading.

Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd play shiny happy versions of themselves, which feels like a running joke that never blossoms. The supporting cast is made up of performers you’ve seen all over TV, but they are dim bulbs who only look familiar and can’t land jokes. Cobie Smulders is particularly ineffective, and for a while it seems her purpose might be to mock the finale of her sitcom How I Met Your Mother, but the opportunity is missed.

Romantic comedies are easy to make fun of, partly because good ones are so difficult to pull off. What the creators of They Came Together don’t seem to realize is that good parodies are also difficult to pull off – they need more than a few drunken “Hey wouldn’t THIS be funny” concepts. Besides, Woody Allen has already made the definitive rom com send-up. I recommend you re-watch Annie Hall instead.