Director David Wain has been a big name in the alternative comedy scene for a long time due to his work on The State and Stella, but he’s still looked at as something of a neophyte in the world of feature films. He’s directed one cult hit with his weird summer camp spoof Wet Hot American Summer, and one mainstream hit with his criminals-turned-mentors movie Role Models; but his last film, Wanderlust, kind of came and went with only a whimper. Let’s just chalk that up to the fact that it had Jennifer Aniston in the lead, though. Has anyone ever heard of a comedy she was in making any money?
Undaunted by the terrors of possible obscurity, Wain is going back to the drawing board and putting together another project. Variety has word that it’s a comedy called They Came Together, and that it comes from a screenplay that has deep roots in Wain’s past. He co-wrote the film with fellow The State and Stella member Michael Showalter right after Wet Hot American Summer came out. It was a simple time, before Wain had to concern himself with things like studio concerns and mainstream relatability. Which begs the question – will this long unproduced script see Wain returning to his more absurdist comedic roots? And, if that’s the case, will a healthy dose of weird be what it takes to re-engage the eyeballs of a public who all but ignored his last project?
The film is being made as one of Lionsgate’s microbudget films – so it won’t have as much pressure on it to turn a huge profit as most movies – but if ticket sales are still what Wain is after (and I would venture to guess that they are), then he’s already starting the development process out ahead of the game. Reportedly he’s landed two much-loved names in Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler to come on board as his leads. Rudd is said to be playing a corporate fat-cat who’s directly responsible for shutting down Poehler’s quirky knick-knack shop. Their resulting quarrels result in eventual romantic heat, wacky meetings with the in-laws, and lots of shots of beautiful people looking fabulous set against a New York City backdrop.
If all of that sounds positively awful to you, the good news is that it’s supposed to. They Came Together is a parody of the modern romantic comedy, a genre that gives all others a run for their money when it comes to cookie-cutter entries and a lack of originality. What say you, wise readers – does this sound like a good direction for Wain’s career to take, or should he and his collaborators leave our love of stories about rich white people coming together alone?