They Came Together

Lionsgate

Joe (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) have a funny story about how they met, but it may be one you’ve heard before. David Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter pull together some familiar faces for They Came Together which sends up the romantic comedy genre with funny, and surprisingly layered, results. As Joe and Molly recount their story over dinner with their friends Karen (Ellie Kemper) and Kyle (Bill Hader) the classic tropes are quickly laid out for all four characters – Joe worked for a large corporation that threatened to put Molly’s quirky shop out of business while Karen and Kyle’s marriage may (not so secretly) be on the rocks. The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines.

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Edge of Tomorrow

May was a rough time for major releases. With The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and A Million Ways to Die in the West, the first month of summer blockbusting got off to a messy start and ended with an equally toxic finish. Although I’m not a fan of Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past, they have their supporters, so maybe May wasn’t as bad of a month as I’m pegging it as. Maybe it’s just that when a studio comedy as tedious and frustrating as A Million Ways to Die in the West comes around, it’s always going to poison the whole calendar page. Thankfully this summer is about to receive a large improvement, because there’s a terrific blockbuster coming out this Friday. While the Tom Cruise-starring action movie isn’t tracking so hot, let’s hope the tides change and people flock to Edge of Tomorrow. Plus, there’s a solid amount of releases this month you should plan to see. Here are the must see movies of June 2014:

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They Came Together

Although the romantic comedy genre isn’t what it used to be — or perhaps because the genre isn’t what it used to be — that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh about the tropes and tricks that litter the best and worst films that the wide world of rom-com has to offer. In David Wain‘s They Came Together, the director and his frequent screenwriting collaborator Michael Showalter take on the genre with their brilliant brand of satirical skewering (hey, Wet Hot American Summer, thinking of you) for one hell of a send-up of modern romances. Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler star in the film, which debuted back in January at Sundance, as a pair of unlikely (obviously) lovers who overcome some super-standard odds on the road to romance. And also comedy. A lot of comedy. The film is unrepentantly a satire, and Wain and Showalter have pulled from a stunning number of genre pictures to make their own film. They Came Together is rife with nods to other romantic comedies, and considering how many we can pick out from just two minutes of footage, we can’t wait to tally up what the finished film has to offer. But for now, let’s count all the rom-com tropes we can find in the first They Came Together trailer.

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They Came Together

If you’re someone who’s not immediately enchanted and enthralled by the premise of older romantic comedies that would typically star someone like, let’s say, Meg Ryan, first of all, how dare you, and secondly, you’re probably in the target demographic for David Wain‘s new film. They Came Together is a charming rom-com starring the delightful pairing of Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd — yes, Leslie Knope and Bobby Newport have to overcome their differences to mack — with a bit of a difference from what we’re used to seeing. It’s a parody of all things romantic comedy, in this case You’ve Got Mail, the 1999 Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks masterpiece in particular, and it seems like it’s not going to hold back from nailing all the cliches that these types of characters fall into when haphazardly falling in love.

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laggies

There’s no science when it comes to picking the big winners at a film festival before the first film strip unfurls (or someone hits play on a digital file, as is most often the case these days), no proven method to the madness, no guaranteed formula to finding the best of the best. It’s a gamble every single time, and that’s precisely where much of the joy in attending a film festival comes from. That discovery, maddening as it may seem. This year’s Sundance Film Festival is predictably stuffed with all manner of films and talents – from the star-studded to the utterly up-and-coming – and while it’s certainly easy to pick out pictures that “sound” like they might be good or at least feature “bankable” talent, there are always a few sleepers that sneak in and captivate an unsuspecting audience. That all said, we here at Film School Rejects have attempted to apply our expertise and our personal interests to this year’s festival in order to pick out a handful of films that just might be the best of the fest, but that are at least guaranteed to send us running into a theater to see them once the festival kicks up. It’s time for Sundance! And it’s time for films! It’s even time for anticipation! And now it’s time for some anticipated Sundance films!

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Ed Helms might not be the first person that comes to mind when you think of comedy superstars, but his comedic take on uptight, preppy white people has taken him pretty far in the business up to this point. He’s proved that he can be an important part of an ensemble by enduring as a reoccurring character on TV’s The Office, he’s proved that he can anchor a film as a relatable protagonist in the underrated Cedar Rapids, and he’s proved that he can be a key component in a hugely successful franchise with the Hangover films. If Helms plays his cards right going forward, he could possibly become one of the biggest comedic actors working. So what’s he got on his horizon? Well, in addition to his continued work on The Office and a planned third film in the Hangover series, Deadline Alpharetta is reporting that the sweater-vested one has signed on to two new projects. The first is said to be something of a cameo. He’ll be appearing as Jason Sudeikis’s shady boss in director Rawson Thurber’s (Dodgeball) upcoming comedy We’re the Millers. The film, which Sudeikis stars in, is said to be about a crew of experienced drug smugglers who pose as a fake family and try to get a large amount of marijuana  across the US/Mexico border. The film is also said to have Jennifer Aniston and Nick Offerman on board, which is good news because Offerman is always hilarious and Aniston, well…she always looks pretty?

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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?

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