For the most cautious man on Earth, life is about to get interesting
Running Time: 90 minutes
UK Certificate: 12A
Country: United States
Ben Stiller has long since honed his awkward-but-lovable nice guy routine in the likes of Theres Something About Mary, Meet The Parents and Keeping The Faith. Here, in the lifeless Along Came Polly, hes at it again. Hes Reuben Feffer, an anally retentive insurance risk analyst whose marriage to estate agent Lisa (Debra Messing) gets off to the worst possible start when he catches her romping with a perma-naked scuba instructor (Hank Azaria) on the first day of their Honeymoon. So, in a predictable change of direction, he begins dating his own binary opposite in the shape of bygone school chum Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston. Shes scared of commitment, loves to take risks (including eating those urine-encrusted nuts you sometimes find in bowls on top of bars) and hates well-made beds. Unfortunately, theres nothing remotely risky about Along Came Polly. Its a rom-com by numbers and, to that end, does contain a semi-reasonable number of laughs but its also completely bereft of either spark or originality. Whats more, at least two of its main set-pieces are suspiciously familiar from elsewhere (a blocked toilet gag used virtually identically in Dumb & Dumber, and Stillers use of a laptop to compare the attributes of ladyfriends, only for the file to be discovered by Aniston didnt she already do that in Friends?). Thankfully, at least the performances are good (well, decent at least), especially from Philip Seymour Hoffman. In a role that 15 years ago would surely have gone to John Candy, he plays Stillers best mate and provider of bizarre love advice. Hes got a subplot of his own as a failed child star who refuses to accept the passing of his own career, and his scenes are invariably the most entertaining. As this years annual river of forgettable rom-coms go, this ones a step-up from the disappointing Somethings Gotta Give but its still a long way down from Stillers best work in Theres Something About Mary. Lets hope Starsky & Hutch delivers the goods, and all will be forgiven.
It's Got: A dare-devil Aussie (Bryan Brown), a gay salsa dancer (Jsu Garcia) and a blind ferret (cant find the actors name in the credits).
It Needs: Some ideas of its own!
Along Came Pointless, more like.