Along Came Polly

Not Recommended. This is a story about a neurotic control clean freak, played by Ben Stiller who falls for loosey goosey freebird Polly, played by Jennifer Anniston, after his new wife leaves him on the first day of their honeymoon for a scuba diving instructor. This Farrelly Brothers wannabe is loaded with a lot of very interesting quirky characters with a lot of laughs, but never quite measures up to the masters of quirk. Ben is obsessed with hygiene, Polly is so absent-minded, she forgets why she calls Ben in the middle of discussions. Ben’s boss, played with a hearty humor by Alex Baldwin, is a crude yet lovable no-nonsense New Yorker. And Ben’s friend, played hilariously by Philip Seymour Hoffman, is a self-obsessed has-been actor. Some funny moments in this pic, but there are some major problems with it. First, the movie is set up as a typical romantic comedy, so the excessive potty humor jars it out of its genre. It’s sortofa confusion between gross out and traditional romance. But that could be simply my personal taste. The major problem with the movie is in the character. Polly, the love interest in Ben’s story, is not ultimately a desirable catch. The storytellers give us no depth or complexity to her character other than one small reference to the fact that her father lived a double life with a second family in another city. But she has no character arc, she learns nothing in the process, she is commitment-phobic and ends commitment phobic, without any personal growth. She has no real special traits that make her sympathetic or desirable. Her dominant trait is her wild risk-taking, which considering the source of it, is not really a virtue, though it is portrayed as such. In short, she is really an uninteresting person and an undesirable partner to pursue, which makes the film unsatisfying.

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