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.
One caveat: the first trailer is not available via embed just yet (we’ll fix that as soon as it changes), so hop on over to BuzzFeed to check it out. Then let’s chat.
1. The request for a “how’d you two meet” story.
2. Aimlessly strolling in the park.
3. Sampling some homecooking in a way that actually looks as if the involved characters are dancing.
4. Terrible fruit-juggling, or basically weird and goofy behavior in public for no good reason.
5. A horrible physical altercation that’s sort of funny and also sort of upsetting but that will inevitably lead to a funny story later.
6. New York City setting.
7. Shared interests (fiction books).
8. Violent, home-wrecking makeouts.
9. A dead body. Wait.
9. One character “notices” something new about the other character, and it seems to be very important and very touching and actually incredibly stupid.
10. A vixen that might threaten our leads’ happiness with each other.
11. Bad dates.
12. Someone pontificating on “the point of love.”
13. Dudebros talking about the ladies while playing a sport.
14. Some sort of work subplot that will probably play a bigger part later.
15. An over-the-top costume party.
16. Someone tosses water into someone else’s face.
17. Someone gets splashed by a cab going through a puddle.
18. Magic tricks.
19. Clumsy leading lady falls down the stairs.
20. Goofy smiles.
If Rudd and Poehler aren’t enough comedic talent for you – and who are you to demand more than them? – the film’s supporting cast includes Max Greenfield, Ed Helms, Michael Ian Black, Cobie Smulders, Ken Marino, Jack McBrayer, Kenan Thompson and Jason Mantzouakas. Are you satisfied now? Are your abs ready to chuckle now? They should be. (And, yes, that’s another trope: the stacked cast, so that’s twenty-one tropes.)
They Came Together hits both theaters and VOD on June 27th.