Thursday, September 25, 2014

They Came Together Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
From the director of Wet Hot American Summer, Wanderlust and Role Models comes a hilarious and irreverent subversion of the romantic-comedy genre: They Came Together, arriving on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and Digital HD September 2 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. When Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) meet, it's hate at first sight: his big Corporate Candy Company threatens to shut down her quirky indie candy shop. Plus, Joel is hung up on his sexy ex (Cobie Smulders). Amazingly, they fall in love, until they break up about two thirds of the way through, and Molly starts dating her accountant (Ed Helms). But then right at the end...well, you'll just have to see. (Hint: Joel makes a big speech and they get back together.) 

Film (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
They Came Together is the story of Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler).  Joel is a part of a big candy corporation that threatens Molly’s small time independent candy shop.  With every reason to hate each other, they do fall in love.  Like most romantic comedies, they break up and have to make their way back to each other – and to true love.  They Came Together is a spoof of your everyday rom-com but it could have worked as a straight forward chick flick.  Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd are very good together and have enough chemistry to pull it off.

The film contains and impressive list of co-stars and cameos including Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Christopher Meloni, Max Greenfield, Ellie Kemper, Jack McBrayer, Kenan Thompson, and John Stamos. Director David Wain even has a part.  The film contains everything your typical romantic comedy has including picking clothes for the big date – only in this film Molly tries on a suit of armor as one of the many options.  The way they parody running to the wedding at the very last moment will make you say yeah, a lot of films do that but it doesn’t equal the type of laughs the Director must have been looking for.

Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper play a couple at dinner listening to the couple’s love story.  It’s a shame that they don’t have more to do with the plot and aren’t better used somewhere else.  The idea of Poehler/Rudd taking TMI to new levels with Hader/Kemper gets old.  During one Halloween when they still hate each other both Joel and Molly wear the same costume to a party.  At the party there is a painfully long bit about whether or not Christopher Meloni’s character soiled his Halloween costume and left it on the bathroom floor.  This is where funny started getting stupid and I started to regret watching this.  As the film went on there were more gags that missed their mark than made me laugh.

I like Paul Rudd and I like Amy Poehler.  I like romantic comedies.  I like chick flicks. This should have been more fun than it was! Granted, I didn’t bother to check out anything about this film except the cover before I agreed to review it. It turned out that this is a spoof of a traditional rom-com. I’ve never been a fan of spoofs and I would have preferred spending time watching 40 Year Old Virgin again or any of the other funny movies with Paul Rudd (no I can’t think of the name of any others right now). I won’t say avoid the film, I will say it’s not for me.  I strongly disagree with the cover, which claims the film is as brilliant as Naked Gun or Airplane but I will admit I didn’t like Naked Gun either if that helps you decide how much weight to give my opinion.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
They Came Together is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in a 1.78:1 ratio.  The film is bright and colorful overall but there are some interior locations that are a bit dark.  In either lighting condition the film looks good, with nice contrast, sharpness and detail.

Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
They Came Together features a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that could have been a bit more aggressive.  With crowded NYC locations you’d expect to hear a bit more city noise and ambience.  The most important part, the dialogue, is clear and consistent throughout but I expected more from this Blu-ray.
Extras (2 out of 5 stars)
Most of the features are lengthy but I wasn’t impressed with the quality on any of them.
  • Audio Commentary – Director/Co-Writer David Wain and Producer/Co-Writer Michael Showalter provide your standard commentary with less humor than I expected. 
  • They All Came Together Featurette – Over 20 minutes of interviews and behind the scenes footage.
  • San Francisco Sketchfest Table Read – A 44 minute table read with poor video quality.
  • Deleted Scenes – Over thirty four minutes of deleted scenes.
  • Theatrical Trailer
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I admittedly did not go into this film with the right mind set.  When hoping for a cute, sweet rom-com a rom-com spoof is not a good substitute.  The chemistry between Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd definitely saved the film.  It’s the wrong kind of stupid comedy for me and I would have rather seen a straight forward comedy or your average chick flick.  

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