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Published on June 19th, 2008 | by simeon

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Along Came Polly

On what should be the happiest day of his life Rueben Feffer (Ben Stiller) is unaware of the change his life is about to take. On the first day of his Honeymoon in St.Barts, Rueben’s world comes crashing down around him when he finds his wide Lisa (Debra Messing), in the throws of passion with a local diving instructor.
Overly cautious by nature due to his work assessing risk for an insurance company, Rueben is devastated and is comforted by his friend Sandy (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), who toils as a struggling actor who clings to his shining moment of glory in a long ago teen comedy.

In a chance encounter, Rueben encounters a former classmate named Polly (Jennifer Aniston), and becomes interested in this woman who is energetic and adventurous and very much the opposite of him socially.

Rueben also has to contend with his latest case, finding a way to insure wealthy industrialist Leland Van Lew, (Bryan Brown), who has a penchant for swimming with Great White sharks, base jumping from skyscrapers and any extreme sport he sets his fancy upon.

The first date between Rueben and Polly has some hilarious results and sets the stages for an unlikely and improbable relationship. Rueben has to learn to loosen up and not fear the world around him, and Polly has to learn to trust others.

The film contains many funny moments as Rueben and Polly get to know one another and as Sandy, Leland, and Rueben’s boss Stan (Alec Baldwin) attempt to impart all manner of advice to the oft-bewildered Rueben.

Of course the film would not be complete without some tension and this comes later in the film when a new element is dropped into the mix causing Rueben and Polly to take stock of their situation and act accordingly.

While predictable, “Along Came Polly” is a funny and charming film that is easily enjoyable. Stiller does a great job as the in check Rueben but still finds himself generating good laughs from the most unusual circumstances. Though reserved, Stiller plays Rueben with a quiet confidence and dignity that allows the audience to root for him, as he is truly a good guy and not some pathetic sap.

Aniston gives Polly a quirky edge that allows her to be a loving individual yet one who does not like to plan ahead and has trouble putting down roots. With Stiller, the two have some good moments though the majority of the best scenes revolve around Rueben’s efforts to impress Polly.

Hoffman and Brown give good supporting work and I for one wish we could have seen more of their characters. It was nice to see Brown slyly work his way through the film and he seems to be having a blast playing such an over the top character. Hoffman who has made a career out of playing losers, allows the audience to see where Sandy as an individual who is unable to escape his past and is desperate to reclaim it, though the closest he has come to acting in years is at the local community theater.

All in all, a funny and enjoyable comedy that should make you laugh and leaves you smiling.

3.5 /5


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