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Overall Rating
2.94

Awesome: 11.54%
Worth A Look: 19.23%
Average: 29.49%
Pretty Bad30.77%
Total Crap: 8.97%

5 reviews, 48 user ratings


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Along Came Polly
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by Scott Weinberg

"Aha, it's the old Great Cast / Atrocious Script thing! We all know this one"
2 stars

Here's what I don't get: Ben Stiller once had a comedy series on Fox. It was clever, witty, bizarre and very creative. There was a quirky subversiveness to the humor that was just intelligent enough to get the show canceled in pretty short order. Simply put, there's no denying that Ben Stiller is truly funny man. So why is nearly every movie he appears in a sadly generic piece of Cineplex Formula?

Along Came Polly is a romantic comedy, the only genre in which a completely predictable storyline is not only a good thing...but also a requirement. Girl meets boy. They hook up. Musical montages float by. A pointless conflict arises. The conflict is resolved just before the end credits spring up.

And once again the easily appeased walk out of the theater feeling...the exact same way the last mindless rom-com made them feel: blindly sated, not unlike the way in which Burger King's food doesn't so much "satisfy your hunger" as it does "fill your stomach with mass".

Although nearly all of these romantic comedies offer the exact same blueprint time and time again, occasionally one will pop up in which the two leads are both witty and likeable. Such is the case here, as both Stiller and Jennifer Aniston each possess a charming screen presence and a clear affinity for comedy.

Unfortunately this movie features a truly turgid and derivative screenplay that gives the leads precisely nothing to do. Matter of fact, "nothing to do" would be a step up, as the screenplay for Along Came Polly is not much more than a thinly veiled retread of Stiller's (and director John Hamburg's) earlier success, Meet the Parents.

Stiller is a schlub. His wife has sex with another man while they're on their honeymoon. Stiller returns home dejected. Aniston looks like she could be Stiller's new flame...but wait! She's a "free spirit" (despite the fact that her character is so woefully developed that we have to accept the "free spirit" on faith alone) and he's a "control freak".

Conflict-wise, that's pretty much it. They end up together at the end. If you consider that a spoiler, then you've never seen one rom-com in your entire life. And there's no freakin' way that this should be your first.

Also rather annoying is the way in which several supporting characters (i.e. the ones who manage to earn a few meager chuckles when they're onscreen) are introduced here and there and then dumped for thirty minutes at a time. Hank Azaria, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alec Baldwin deliver more entertainment in their combined 19 minutes onscreen than do Stiller and Aniston in their 90+.

And again, it's the chintzy, tired script that sinks the boat. Why any 'boy meets girl' comedy needs to have an extended "fart noises and poop" toilet scene, a blind ferret that bumps into things (this movie's version of a laugh track) or any of the other 'mild grossout' gags that often populate poorly-written comedies is beyond me. These are gimmicks, and they're poorly conceived ones at best.

It must pain Ben Stiller to read the scripts of the movies he's appeared in, knowing full well (and deep down) that he could write something more arcane, more inspired and infinitely more amusing while standing on his head. It's just that mindless poop jokes, paint-by-numbers platitudes and stupid animal tricks often lead to huge opening weekends, while "The Ben Stiller Show" got canceled after only twelve weeks.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8473&reviewer=128
originally posted: 01/25/04 12:44:31
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User Comments

5/08/10 PAUL SHORTT CONTRIVED ROMANTIC COMEDY WITH DESPERATE PERFORMANCES 1 stars
1/01/10 Dane Youssef I'm getting really tired of these types of movies. This isn't worth the effort to see it. 1 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. not another stupid chick flick...! 2 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner Funny Flick!! 5 stars
3/03/08 ladavies I liked the pairing of Stiller and Aniston. 3 stars
1/06/06 JM Synth Of the 100-odd movies Stiller made in 04, this was the worst. 2 stars
2/21/05 Dan Funny 4 stars
1/17/05 Landshark "potty polly loofah" is the newest endorsement by Bill O'Reilly, my sources tell me ;) 2 stars
11/10/04 Misti Bathroom humor has been done so many times it's not even close to funny anymore. 3 stars
10/07/04 Daveman Always fast and loud, never funny. 1 stars
9/10/04 Franco absolutely fantastic Hank Azaria. His french english became a legend among my friends. 5 stars
8/08/04 Kelly My cousin is the director/writer of this movie...its a great movie... 5 stars
7/23/04 Jannet Kwan Ben Stiller was more funnier in Meet The Parents. 3 stars
6/14/04 max this movie was a hit, it kept me laughing from the begining till the end of the movie. 5 stars
4/23/04 Iris Dementia Praecox Soo predictable! Better had Reuben fared fine at same resturant but Polly got the shits bad 3 stars
4/19/04 Roxanne (please delete previous if you delete one) Sharting IS funny, but couldn't've made this awesome unless title dingbat Polly had sharted 3 stars
4/17/04 Roxanne Sharting IS funny, but couldn't've made this awesome unless title dingbat Polly had sha 3 stars
4/17/04 Robyn Jamil-Walid Gee yosharto, really like sharting? Even so there ain't enough of it to make this awesome!. 3 stars
4/06/04 yosharto the sharting was the best part of this movie! 5 stars
4/04/04 Jacqui O'Day If Polly is really such a "free spirit", she should be the one most inclined to shart! 3 stars
4/03/04 Millie Maelstrom Too bad Philip Seymour Hoffman is becoming typecast for constipation, sharting, etc. 3 stars
4/03/04 Marilyn Westbury I couldn't find either Lisa or Polly very likeable. Could've had ~ as much fun sharting. 3 stars
3/26/04 rojo Couple of laughs. 3 stars
3/24/04 Ingo Nicely "farrellyish", but not convincing... 3 stars
3/19/04 Tam Pretty funny and a good first vehicle for two sitcom stars (Aniston & Messing). 4 stars
3/17/04 Chris I like it but wasn't thrill with it. Funny but not enough to shell out $8 but a good rental 3 stars
3/14/04 E-Rock Best Actor - Rudolpho the Ferret. Otherwise, another Stiller Stinker... 2 stars
3/08/04 S.F. Watchable. 3 stars
2/18/04 Bulwinkl Expected it to be funnier. 3 stars
2/18/04 Erika I did not like "Along Came Polly." It was cliche, obnoxious and boring. 1 stars
2/13/04 viewer B Charming and Funny beyond the farts 5 stars
2/12/04 Serena It was ok 3 stars
2/11/04 Kevin Le Bouthillier Jennifer Aniston need to break away from hey Rachel Green acting. Ben is good. 4 stars
2/09/04 Neal Robinson Along came Polly is a funny movie. Nice light-hearted comedy that I greatly enjoyed. 5 stars
2/04/04 Chad Foster Awesome 5 stars
1/28/04 Anna Cooper I like it 4 stars
1/28/04 Travis great cast,some funny humor, a movie young or old could find interesting 5 stars
1/26/04 moviedude disgusting and vomit-inducing, but good supporting cast 2 stars
1/26/04 payvand I saw it at an Mtv MovieHouse screening (thank god I didn't pay) I think I laughed twice? 2 stars
1/26/04 orpy if you like farts this is for you! 3 stars
1/25/04 Nikita This Film is bad,cliched,humour not that memorable 1 stars
1/24/04 bender It's not supposed to be groundbreaking or extremely innovative. It IS funny enough though. 4 stars
1/24/04 Dan I'd rather watch this than, say, Torque 4 stars
1/24/04 Elena Ben Stiller in the same role he always plays. An unfunny dork with an exciting girl. 1 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Silly, gross-out comedy w/ Aniston wasted in a rather frivilous role. 1 stars
1/20/04 Desperado Not bad, predictable, but nontheless made me laugh 4 stars
1/18/04 Jimmy Connors Worth A Look 4 stars
1/18/04 bullit16 Nothing that hasn't been done before. Still, I laughed a lot 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Jan-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 08-Jun-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  22-Jan-2004




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