.

Along Came Polly

Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing

Directed by John Hamburg
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
January 16, 2004

Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston would be assets to any romantic comedy, but they can't make this one worth your investment. He plays Reuben, a risk-assessment analyst who -- get this -- takes no risks himself. Though the nerd marries live wire Lisa (Debra Messing), she screws another guy on their honeymoon. Just when Reuben feels lost, along comes Polly (Aniston), a free spirit who teaches him about salsa dancing (much pratfalling), spicy food (much farting) and ferret wrangling (much Farrelly-brothers-ripping-off). Aniston is too sharp an actress to play stooge (she did the same thing in Bruce Almighty) -- she's squandering the indie cred she earned in The Good Girl. Director John Hamburg, who did right by Stiller in the past by co-writing Meet the Parents and Zoolander, strands him here with toilet gags the Farrellys have long since flushed. Having trapped Stiller and Aniston in a one-joke romance, Hamburg calls out the rescue crew in the form of a top supporting cast. Philip Seymour Hoffman milks more laughs than you'd think possible out of the role of Sandy, Reuben's best friend. Sandy is a former child star gone to pot and currently starring in a community-theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar, playing the roles of Jesus and Judas. As good as Hoffman is, he is still saddled with the most scatological lines in Hamburg's script. "I sharted," says Sandy, telling Reuben it's a term he uses when "I try to fart and a little shit comes out." Alec Baldwin also dives into the vulgar spirit of things as Stan, Reuben's boss, a flashy dresser with a gravelly New Yawk accent and a habit of ending every sentence with "mazel, good things." Hank Azaria gets the biggest hoots as Claude, the French nudist scuba instructor who seduces Lisa on her St. Barths honeymoon with Reuben, Azaria is a master of accents (I love his Apu on The Simpsons), but here -- flexing an alarmingly buff body that screams "extreme makeover" -- he manages to make his nakedness hilarious. This is the A team, all right, but they've been hired to hoist a marshmallow.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Hungry Like the Wolf”

    Duran Duran | 1982

    This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com