They Came Together



Predictable romcom send-up has racy sex scenes, language.
  • Review Date: July 1, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

True love wins out (as usual in movie romances), even though Joel and Molly encounter a variety of roadblocks on the path to couplehood.

Positive role models

Joel and Molly must learn to be true to who they really are before they're able to realize what they need in a partner. When they're honest with themselves, it opens them up to appreciating -- and loving -- each other.


A jilted suitor attacks his ex's new boyfriend with a sword; when disarmed, he resorts to his fists in an all-out, bare-knuckle brawl that's played mostly for laughs.


Two sex scenes are both explicit and ludicrous, featuring couples engaged in over-the-top energetic, acrobatic bedroom antics. There's nudity, though none of the participants' genitals are visible, and there's plenty of vigorous motions and sounds, though the action mostly takes place either in shadow or in the background. Viewers can tell something is going on, but they don't get a good look at it. Also plenty of sexual references/talk.


Frequent strong language, ranging from "f--k," and "s--t" to "damm" and "ass."


New York City gets a big plug, almost becoming a character itself.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink wine at meals, and some scenes feature characters having stronger drinks at a bar.

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. Start with the cast, 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 instead, 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.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 27, 2014
DVD release date:September 2, 2014
Cast:Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Cobie Smulders, Bill Hader, Max Greenfield
Director:David Wain
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and sexual content

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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