Starring: Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Director: John Hamburg
Running Time: 90 mins
Along Came Polly is an American film about a man who forms an unlikely relationship with a former classmate of his, after his ex-wife cheats on him with a flamboyant scuba diving instructor on his honeymoon.
This film was not so horribly cheesy for a romantic comedy! It may not have had the strongest cast, the best storyline, nor the highest quality of comedy I’ve seen in a rom-com, however it managed to avoid too many of the genre’s horrifically cheesy clichés, which made it not only more entertaining to watch, but a huge relief.
The story in this film was obviously as predictable as your average film, and throughout, the pacing was not particularly good, a lot of the plot lines were very jerky, and a huge amount of characters were brought in at various points throughout the story, soon dropped out of it, and then suddenly brought back again, which was a little bit of an irritating thing to see.
Also, there were points at which it did fall into the trap of the ultimate rom-com cliché, at the end, which was a little bit of a disappointment to see, however I was very proud and happy that the film tried to steer away from a terribly generic story.
The whole message of the film is surprisingly warming too. It’s all about taking risks and diving in at the deep end to get the most out of life, and although that may seem like a cheesy line to follow, it’s actually a very nice and uplifting message to have, taking away a bit of the generic annoyance you’d usually get in one of these films.
However, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the level of the comedy in this film. Along with the casting of Ben Stiller in the male lead, almost entire scenes and jokes were copied from There’s Something About Mary, and although that stuff was funny, it wasn’t great to see that much copying from a previous film.
As for the rest of the comedy, it was light and daft enough to mildly entertaining, but nothing raucously funny that would make this at all memorable for its laughs.
Finally, the cast. I say that it wasn’t particularly strong, and it wasn’t in the leading roles, with Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, and Miss. Rom-Com herself Debra Messing, who never really stepped up to give a hilarious performance, but the supporting roles, with Alec Baldwin and Philip Seymour Hoffman no less, were a whole lot stronger, and they managed to save the film when it felt as if it was weakening a little.
Overall, I’ll give this a 6.5, because of its warming message, attempts to steer away from the clichés of the genre and mildly funny comedy, despite it being somewhat cheesy at times.