Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "Along Came Polly" (2004)

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Movie"Along Came Polly"
Director: John Hamburg
Year: 2004
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller) is an insurance risk assessor who is about to fulfill his life long dream of marrying who he believes is the perfect woman, Lisa (Debra Messing). When Lisa sleeps with a scuba instructor named Claude (Hank Azaria) while on their honeymoon, Reuben is crushed as his future quickly begins to falls apart. Returning to New York and trying to forget his failed, short marriage, Reuben attends an art exhibit with his friend Sandy (Philip Seymour Hoffman). It is there he runs into an old middle school friend named Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston), and despite her being his polar opposite, he quickly becomes enamored with her. 

How many times does Ben Stiller have to fall for the wrong woman, guys?!

"Along Came Polly" is about as commonplace as you can get, your average and typical fish out of water, awkward situational romantic comedy. Reuben, played by Ben Stiller, is a highly regarded insurance risk assessor who is praised for his judgment when handing out insurance recommendations. He lives his life as safely as possible in the Big Apple and doesn't like to take risks, yet it would seem his character is highly accident prone and has terrible judgment when it comes to his own personal life. His best friend Sandy, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, is a former child actor who did one movie in his teens and has been full of himself ever since. He's an over-bloated blowhard who thinks he's better than everyone else. Jennifer Aniston's Polly is a free spirit who likes to take risks, hates commitment and is completely indecisive. Can't you feel the wackiness bursting at the seams?!

The story plays on the old saying "opposites attract," with these three characters having the most screen time. Stiller's Reuben and and Aniston's Polly, obviously different minded people who have no business being together, don't have any believable or viable chemistry to salvage this movie from being anything but stale and crusty and sometimes flat out gross. Ben Stiller plays his typical sarcastic and often silly slapstick character who is forced to move out of his comfort zone by his love interest in the hopes that it will lead to a lot of great, funny moments. Unfortunately, Stiller hasn't seen any great, funny moments in almost a decade and most the jokes miss their mark. The jokes consist of Reuben eating spicy foods despite having IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, which leads to quite a number of scenes featuring bathroom shenanigans; him having to play basketball with a hairy shirtless man and slapping up against their sweaty moobs; and him awkwardly watching Polly dance sexually with another man right before his eyes. This is also one of the very few times we can say we weren't fans of Philip Seymour Hoffman. His character, Sandy, is so obnoxious and abrasive, and he plays him in such a boisterous manner that it is annoying and grating to watch transpire. We as an audience would rather slap him and tell him to get his act together than laugh at him. Besides, the laughs "Along Came Polly" produces are so few and far between, we wouldn't have ever gotten the chance to laugh at him anyways. Avoid this movie.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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