Along Came Polly John Hamburg

Along Came Polly John Hamburg
Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller) is a risk-averse insurance guy whose bride leaves him on their honeymoon for a freakishly buff French scuba instructor. Despondent, Reuben follows best friend and has-been '80s teen star Sandy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to a party where he meets Polly (Jennifer Aniston), a free-spirited waitress he hasn't seen since junior high. This is a typical "opposites attract" plotline with few surprises, so we know that Polly and Reuben will wind up together, Lisa will get her comeuppance, and sado Sandy will realise that really, truly, the '80s are over. Although the movie is often hilarious, it's strange that a film about commitment phobia is so afraid to commit to a single genre. The romantic plotline is crowded out by the gross-out buddy comedy of Sandy and Reuben, which brings us some of the movie's best moments, and possibly the year's worst neologism ("to shart"). It's really hard to care about the romantic plot when faced with bathroom humour of a There's Something About Mary level, and when you add to that a seriously underdeveloped but interesting coming of age story about letting go of high-school hopes and identity, you wind up with a mess. The really peculiar thing is that we never do see the opposites attract. Most of the movie has that sixth date "I can't believe I slept with someone who loves Faith Hill, what was I thinking?" sort of discomfort — she likes "ethnic" food, he has a wasp-y tummy; he owns a house, she owns a ferret, etc. Although Aniston and Stiller are both excellent, the movie really suffers from their lack of chemistry. On the other hand, Debra Messing, as the delightfully dorky Lisa, and Hank Azaria, as the improbably-accented Claude, provide some of the best moments in the movie, as well as a convincing romance. And for anyone who thought of Azaria as a funny actor with a great body for voice-overs, think again. Plus: director's commentary, embarrassingly unfunny featurettes, deleted scenes, more. (Universal)