You know how Scary Movie and Not Another Teen Movie are only like 50% funny, and the other 50% is just random jokes that completely fall flat and have very little to do with anything? Yeah, well, this is that for rom coms.
The film: They Came Together (2014)
The premise: It’s a meta rom com that’s only about half as funny as it thinks it is. Starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, this star-studded comedy follows the roller coaster romance of Molly, a small candy shop owner, and Joel, the corporate executive trying to put her out of business. Except the actual plot only briefly touches on that, and then gets almost immediately side-tracked by a string of trope-driven wink-wink-nod-nods toward basically every other rom com you’ve ever seen. This could be brilliant if it were done strategically, but instead this film is just a haphazard mess of one-off jokes and dropped plot lines. It’s like they did a brainstorm for a rom com send-up, and then just threw in everything instead of sorting through their ideas for the good ones.
Why you should watch it: As often as this film falls flat on its jokes, there are several moments of sheer satirical brilliance. They really did their research on the genre and hit all of the tropes. The problem is, if you watch it sober, it’s easy to get distracted trying to make sense of the story instead of just rolling with the punches. The quippy one-liners are way funnier if you don’t try to contextualize them inside the actual “story.” And we all know how helpful vodka is in reducing your ability to contextualize.
The drinking game: Drink for every blatant trope reference.
Bonus: Drink whenever a joke isn’t funny. That’s like half of them so maybe drink light on this one.
Where it’s available: NETFLIX
“Why don’t you take a jerk, you hike!”
P.S. May the 4th be with you.