Ruben, (Ben Stiller) a risk analyst, is always cautious and takes life very seriously. However after marrying his perfect and dependable girlfriend Lisa (Debra Messing) she runs off with a scuba instructor on the first day of their honeymoon.
Ruben immediately and all too conveniently begins to date Polly (Jennifer Anniston) who’s totally commitment-free and lives a chaotic lifestyle.
Along Came Polly is the sort of formulaic romantic comedy that you’ll feel like you’ve seen a dozen times before. Notably Ruben’s love for Polly compels him to radically change his lifestyle.
A similar plot device was used to infinitely better effect, more poignantly and less conveniently in As Good As It Gets and Matchstick Men.
But where in those films it’s significant that the character develops as a person in the process, here it’s simply played out for laughs and too many of them at gutter level. The message is consequently warped and it looses its gravitas.
Anniston and Stiller, unquestionably skilled comedy actors, are never less than competent in the central roles. Whilst Phillip Seymour Hoffman is impressive in yet another supporting role, but given a superior script and direction we’ve seen that they can all produce so much more than this.
Although rather flimsy and crushingly predictable Along Came Polly is still funny and reasonably likable. However with so many better films currently on release, I’d suggest carefully assessing the risk of a wasted afternoon before paying.
2 stars out of 5
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