The formulaic Hollywood rom-com gets a satirical skewering in They Came Together (2014), an uneven but generally funny affair that leverages an impressive cast of Burning Love, Parks and Recreation, and Saturday Night Live vets. Joel (Paul Rudd) is a corporate drone for a candy company. Molly (Amy Poehler) runs a cute, indie candy store. When Joel’s company targets Molly’s labor of love shop for annihilation…well, you get the idea. They hate each other, they like each other, they hate each other again, then they like each other again. It’s destiny! You know the story.
Michael Showalter and David Wain’s script surrounds its comically no-frills star-crossed lovers with the romantic comedy genre’s every clichéd character, from Joel’s morally bankrupt girlfriend (Cobie Smulders), to his posturing asshole work rival (Michael Ian Black), to Molly’s sassy black girlfriend (Teyonah Parris), and on and on. It’s a genre ripe for parody, and They Came Together eviscerates it with gleeful abandon. At its worst, it’s clumsily on the nose; at its best, it’s, uh, subtly on the nose. And to keep things interesting, it throws in an outrageous gag out of left field every now and then. Definitely not high art, but it’s a great deal of fun, with a huge cast of talented comedy veterans.