Who's a Pretty Polly
Risk assessor Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller - Zoolander) has his life planned out, not only has he just got married but he has bought a new home. But whilst still on his honeymoon his whole life is thrown into disarray, when his new wife Lisa (Debra Messing - A Walk in the Clouds) dumps him for scuba diving instructor Claude (Hank Azaria). As he throws himself back into work in the attempt to get over his heart ache, he bumps into an old school friend, fun loving Polly (Jennifer Aniston - Bruce Almighty). As their renewed friendship grows, Reuben is thrown into a world of extreme sports, spicy foods, salsa dancing and ferrets which goes against his cautious nature.
Although "Along Came Polly" is not the greatest of romantic comedies, it is still good fun, which is thanks mainly to the performance of Ben Stiller, who is more than happy to embarrass himself for the amusement of the audience. A particular fun scene sees Stiller on the basketball court with its slow motion scenes just shows the lengths that he will go for a laugh as his face gets buried into another player's sweaty stomach.
The actual growing friendship/romance is not really the main story, but the development of Reuben from a control freak into being more fun loving is the focus. Along with this, there is the sub story of Reuben's best friend a childhood actor who now, grown up, has to face the fact that he is no longer a star. This side of the story provides a decent vehicle to demonstrate the comedy talents of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
As I have already mentioned, the lead character of Reuben Feffer is played by the talented Ben Stiller. Stiller brings to this role the hapless fool performance that we see in some of his other movies such as "Meet the Parents" and "Our House". You would think this would become boring but he does it so well that each time it is enjoyable. His new love, and old school friend, is Polly Prince played by the delightful Jennifer Aniston. Anniston and Stiller seem to feed of each other and provide some hugely funny scenes; this is definitely one of Anniston's better films.
Also providing a great comic performance is Philip Seymour Hoffman as Rueben's life long friend and struggling actor. Hoffman's performance is full of energy and has brilliant self depreciating moments. All the supporting cast are brilliant with very funny performances from Alec Baldwin, Bryan Brown and Hank Azaria, yes that really is Hank Azaria playing the buff scuba diving instructor.
"Along Came Polly" is directed and written by John Hamburg. It is very obvious that Hamburg has a great relationship with Stiller, which allows him to let Stiller to run riot with his own brand of self depreciating humour. Although he has not written the greatest of stories, he has done a brilliant job of creating a film which is very watch able. This is mainly down to Stiller, and I'm not sure if this would be so watch able if he wasn't the lead.
Unfortunately the plot is quite predictable, but it really does take a back seat to the humour. Like the story line, the location and sound track are not given any importance, which is a shame as part of the film was shot in the really beautiful Hawaii. The soundtrack to "Along Came Polly" is a very varied choice, with pieces coming from Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Morcheeba, Black Eye Peas, Bob Marley and Shaggy.
What this all boils down to is that "Along Came Polly" is a reasonable comedy which relies heavily on the talents of Stiller to carry it. It's not a film which has a brilliant story but compensating for that is some very funny scenes which leave you laughing out loud.