along came polly
Along came polly is not one of Ben Stiller's best films, though it returns him to his original area of expertise: the wackly romantic comedy. Watching this movie made me recall better films that Stiller has made in the same area - There's Something About Mary and Meet the Parents. Along came polly resides somewhere around wackiness level of Meet the parents. This movie was no where near his great ones: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Zoolander, and Starsky & Hutch. I have not seen anchorman, so I don't know what role he plays and cannot vouch for the quality of that movie. This movie was not bad, but it was not great either. I really liked Jennifer Aniston's character. The character reminded me of people I actually know. Though I am surprised this movie did not get protested by people with IBS, though I suspect that they might be doing something else. If you like Ben stiller, this movie should be in the middle of the list of movies to watch.
Also, a friend and I came up with the stiller cycle theory. The quality of Ben stiller's movies cycles. Though causation, correlation, and the actual cycles are hidden from us at this point in time, I stand by the fact a movie quality cycle for Ben stiller does exist.
This movie generated lots of questions from the group that I saw it with: When was it set? Was the main character "retarded" (or as the teachers say these days Mild to Moderate (MM))? Is it alright to laugh at someone who is retarded? The characters have mannerisms reflecting the 1980's, though the movie is set in the 1990's. If you grew up in a small town, you know small towns sometimes get stuck in a time vortex they are unable to escape out of, that seems to be the case for the town that Napoleon is in.
The characters in this movie are particularly expressionless (just like their town), though their expressions are assumed. If you have ever been a teenager, you know everything that is going on in the characters heads. I believe that is the intent of the film. Napoleon is a weird, unpopular kid with a weird, unpopular, seemily self assured, best friend. Napoleon lives with a weird, unpopular brother, a hip grandmother, an uncle who ordered a time machine off of the internet, and has a weird, unpopular girlfriend.
This movie is only fit to be seen at the local art house, which happens to be where I saw the film. Any movie I see at places like these, houses of liberal ill repute, have to prove their worth to me. At the very beginning of the movie, people were already laughing their butts off at any little thing Napoleon did. It took about 15 mins before I started doing the same thing. The early adopters of this humor, I assume, were either the target audience or have seen the movie before.
This movie was great, and I would watch it again if I had the chance. I don't say that often and I don't think I have said that about a movie which I have reviewed before.
This movie gets a 950 for originality and a 900 for overall enjoyablity and quality.
If you have not seen or heard of garden state, let me introduce this movie to you by way of this superbly done website. I swear, I could watch the teaser trailer a thousand times and never tire of it. I have never seen images, I have liked as much as the images, I have seen in this trailer. Zach Braff wrote, directed, and played a main part in this film. Zach Braff is the white kid from scrubs. Zach's talents in this film lie not in acting, but in the writing and directing. I think Zach's role in scrubs in better done by him, than this role he played in this film, though his directing was top notch. Their were some parts of the film that were roughly cut, but the underlying base film was enchanting at its best and just good at its worse. I do not relate to the main character in this film, but many people my age or around my age will. Some people will feel this movie is about them, it models the post college, pre-family area of life many people I know are in, with a certain clarity of vision that should be recommended to your friends. Zach Braff plays a mid-twenty something whose life is empty - void of love, friends, and filled with drugs. He comes home, after a long absence, when his mother dies.
I also liked his apartment at the beginning, it reminded me of mine in some ways.
This movie is a must see, and something that will cause to you think a little.