A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that They Came Together is a send-up of the tried-and-true romcom genre, starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as the destined-to-be-together couple. Expect lots of swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), one all-out brawl that's played for laughs, moderate drinking, and a few raunchy, intentionally over-the-top sex scenes (no sensitive body parts shown, but there is partial nudity and lots of vigorous motions and sounds). The movie is from the same folks behind cult fave Wet Hot American Summer, so that might make some teens more interested.
What's the story?
In THEY CAME TOGETHER, Joel (Paul Rudd) is extricating himself from a unsatisfying relationship, while Molly (Amy Poehler) has recently broken up with someone. They must be perfect for each other! Unfortunately, he's an executive at a corporate candy conglomerate that's about to put her small sweet store out of business, which makes it hard for them to realize that they're meant to be together in this spoof of the classic romcom formula. The strong cast also includes winning appearances by Cobie Smulders as Joel's ex, along with Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, and Ed Helms.
Is it any good?
There are so many reasons why They Came Together ought to be a runaway hit; unfortunately, it's a big miss. It's confounding, considering the cast is practically an assembly of comedy all-stars. And then there's the premise -- make a movie skewering the romcom genre's worst habits by referencing the classics (including You've Got Mail and Jerry Maguire), and make it winning and witty at the same time. But They Came Together feels the same way it does when you smile for too long: strained.
Part of the problem is how the film mimics what it's critiquing. Yes, it's supposed to, given the plot device. But just because it's easy to make fun of the genre's predictability doesn't mean the movie also has to be predictable. A twist near the end isn't enough to make a difference ... guess it just wasn't meant to be.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how They Came Together compares to the romcoms it's trying to spoof. Which films do you recognize in the story here?
What's the point of satirizing something? Is it just for laughs, or can there be a larger purpose/message?
What do you think about Joel and Molly's relationship? Why are they perfect for each other?
- In theaters: June 27, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: September 2, 2014
- Cast: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Cobie Smulders, Bill Hader, Max Greenfield
- Director: David Wain
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 83 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language and sexual content
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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