The belly laughs are frequent in this flimsy parody of modern romantic comedies. Joel (Paul Rudd) and Molly (Amy Poehler) are our corny, destined-to-be couple. He’s a corporate exec at a ruthless NYC candy company; she runs a ma-and-pa sweets shop that’s likely to go under when the bigger business opens a branch across the street. They hate each other, but they’re a perfect match – so in sync that they both go dressed as Benjamin Franklin to the same Halloween party. ‘They came together!’ their friend says, letting the double entendre hang unacknowledged.
That’s the sort of humour you get throughout – low blows raised to the level of gut-busting art. Try not to guffaw at Christopher Meloni, one of many guest stars, shitting himself in a skintight superhero costume. Director and co-writer David Wain is a great gag man but an indifferent storyteller: even at their most scattershot, films like ‘Airplane!’ and ‘The Naked Gun’ work as straight narratives, but here, everyone seems above the romcom conventions they’re satirising, so anxious to get to each punch line that they let the bits inbetween languish. You’ll howl often but quickly forget why.