They Came Together

They Came Together, directed and co-written by David Wain, is a madcap, off the wall, comedic send-up of the romantic comedy genre that goes so far over the top, you won’t believe it. The cast is a who’s who of comedy, from stars Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler to supporting actors Melanie Lynskey and Jason Mantzoukas, all the way down to scene stealers like Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper. There are a lot of laughs, an ambitious premise and I think a lot of people are going to like the movie. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people.

I may, however, grow to be one of those people. The brilliance of Wain’s comedy is that it can be so unexpected and off-putting that sometimes time and familiarity can make a movie funnier than it feels on the first viewing. However, on my first viewing, I felt They Came Together tried to be shocking so many times, and failed more often than not, that I couldn’t get into it. It’s so incessantly obsessed with the next joke, it skips everything in-between. Read More »

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Even if a movie doesn’t hit a home run at the box office, as long as it finds an audience somewhere, we’re bound to get a sequel. The examples are too numerous to mention, but one that has comedy fans excited is a potential follow-up to David Wain‘s 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer. The comedy, which features a who’s who of stars (Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Ian Black, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper) didn’t even gross $300,000 at the box office upon release. But as good movies often do, it picked up a cult following on home video and has since become a pop culture landmark, spawning everything from art shows to cosplay.

Once the film gained some cultural success, people began asking its stars and writers about sequels, prequels, anything that would bring back the first film’s characters. Now, co-writer and co-star Michael Showalter once again commented on this project and said that a prequel is still in the works. It’s set six months to a year before the first movie, but all the actors would be ten years older…which makes about as much sense as anything else in the original. See him talk about it after the jump. Read More »

Until that Wet Hot American Summer sequel gets going — if indeed it ever does get going — we can comfort ourselves with the mini-reunion that will be They Came Together. The romcom parody, which is set up at Lionsgate’s microbudget division, re-teams WHAS director David Wain and writer Michael Showalter with stars Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. Hell, pull in a few more of the guys from The State and we can just turn this project into a secret WHAS sequel. More details after the jump.

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Wanderlust, from director David Wain (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer Ken Marino, outlines and explores a premise that will probably resonate with many people: a young couple, navigating the grind of city life but trapped by their own fears and inadequacies, is forced to leave the city and take refuge with family by dual economic misfortunes.

Well, that part of the premise might resonate. The next bit is perhaps less familiar: the couple’s final destination ends up being Elysium, a commune-like community where their frigid inability to relax is cracked and thawed by an ultra-crunchy lifestyle. (Admittedly, the attentions of a couple of sexually aggressive residents doesn’t hurt.)

For the most part, Wanderlust isn’t a deep character study or a particularly perceptive dissection of human nature. (For something closer to that, see Lukas Moodysson’s Together, which was likely an inspiration for Wain.) This is more like seeing the funhouse mirror caricatures of Wet Hot American Summer grown to adulthood. This film doesn’t quite celebrate the same sense of absurdity, and doing so — living up to one of the film’s own arguments, you could say — might make it more of a keeper. Yet Wanderlust is possessed of a strong  enough free spirit that you might want to join its (almost) free-love drum circle just the same. Read More »

The great, wacky 2001 comedy Wet Hot American Summer didn’t do any respectable box office business, but the deep goofiness of the film has generated a fervent cult following in the decade since its original release. It doesn’t hurt that the film featured a treasure trove of comic talent, some in the early stages of their careers: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, A.D. Miles, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks and Bradley Cooper.

The film suggested the possibility of a sequel, and the sequel is a frequent object of inquiry when director David Wain or one of the primary cast members does an interview, even a decade later. In the last couple years, Wain has said that a sequel or prequel isn’t out of the question, despite the fact that Universal doesn’t seem to believe in the project, and several of the original cast members have a much higher quote now than they did a decade ago.

But there may be reason to rejoice, fans of WHAS: Michael Showalter now says that a sequel is “absolutely happening”! Read More »

It’s the first official day of summer, and therefore the longest day of the year, and a withering 95 degrees outside my window. (But it ain’t the heat; it’s the humidity.) So what better time to talk about one of the best summer comedies? David Wain‘s Wet Hot American Summer was made on a relatively small budget and greeted by a seemingly disinterested audience in 2001. But the film has found an enthusiastic cult audience, and one of the tenets of cult movie enthusiasm is holding out hope for a sequel, no matter how unlikely.

In this case, blame the film itself for some of the sequel dreams — it actively advances the idea of a sequel by having the characters end the movie joking about organizing a ten-year reunion. And so, almost every time David Wain gives an interview the question comes up: where’s the sequel? But the movie didn’t do well ten years ago and Universal doesn’t seem to think it will do well now. (Don’t expect a feature-laden anniversary DVD release.)

That doesn’t mean the idea of another movie with the characters (played by Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, A.D. Miles, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, and Bradley Cooper) is 100% out of the realm of possibility, however. It’s probably only about 98% impossible. Read More »

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