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Along Came Polly

An some scatological or penile trauma yet falls in love with him anyway. The comedy throughout must be gross and, whenever possible, breast, pee-pee or sphincter-related. The girl is usually a childhood friend (à la There's Something About Mary) who's grown up to be a beautiful, if quirky, creature--she'd have to be, to fall in love with a guy who gets his wiener caught in his zipper on prom night, discusses milking the cat at her parents' dinner table (à la Meet the Parents) or, as in the case of Along Came Polly, contracts a massive case of the squirts on their first date after eating spicy food with his fingers. But it's all in the spirit of fun as the love interest teaches the uptight guy to embrace life, and there's much hilarity on the road to romance--as well as a fairly irrelevant subplot whose sole purpose is to show us what a great guy the hero is.


As Polly's leading man, uptight, newly wedded insurance risk assessor Reuben Feffer, Stiller proves he's still the undisputed king of Poopy Love films by hamming it up to the hilt, whether he's showing off his newly acquired salsa skills or making his misery and anger palpable--and physical--when his bride Lisa (played very straight by Debra Messing) has a fling on the first day of their honeymoon in St. Barts with French scuba instructor Claude (a very naked, very toned, very funny Hank Azaria). Crestfallen and bitter, Reuben returns to the Big Apple alone and, while at an art show with his best friend, former child actor Sandy Lyle (Philip Seymour Hoffman), bumps into an old school chum, the free-spirited Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston). The uproar begins in earnest with Hoffman on the scene--his egomaniacal former child star is a funny tub of pomposity and insecurity--and he and Stiller have nice comic chemistry together. That's more than can be said of Aniston, who doesn't seem to want to get her hands dirty, even though the script offers her the opportunity. She never really participates physically in the comedy the way Cameron Diaz did in Mary--she simply reacts to Stiller's antics. Her character's pet ferret gets more laughs.


Like Stiller, Along Came Polly's director and screenwriter John Hamburg is no stranger to Poopy Love, having written the outrageous script for Meet the Parents and the less clever, though highly original, Zoolander. The jokes in Polly seem limited in comparison, with a high reliance on pooping, farting, ''sharting'' (when you fart and a little poo comes out), and, of course, the old took-a-dump-in-your-girlfriend's-bathroom-and-the-toilet-won't-flush gag. That doesn't mean the movie's not funny--it is. There's just not much here we haven't seen before.

Bottom Line

The poop-joke laden Along Came Polly is an amusing diversion, but it's the same old s***.