Along Came Polly


Universal, color, PG-13, 91min. plus supplements, Dolby Digital, widescreen and fullscreen, Street: June 8, $26.98; First Run: W, Jan. 2004, $88 mil.

The affable combination of Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston made this by-the-numbers screwball comedy a big hit in theaters. The movie is forgettable fluff directed by the co-scripter of Meet the Parents and Zoolander, but it does have the distinction of trying to unite two very different schools of comedy: Woody Allen’s urban tales of neurotic romance and the Farrelly Brothers’ winsome gross-out farces. Stiller is put through his paces as he participates in gags involving a revoltingly sweaty basketball opponent, irritable bowel syndrome, premature ejaculation and an overflowing toilet. After There’s Something About Mary, it’s no surprise to see Stiller slogging through such scenes, but it is amusing to hear his thoughts about them in Herzog Production’ featurette included on this disc. “Why am I doing this?,” he says. “What deep psychological need do I have to be accepted? It’s one step away from porn.” All of Ben’s most embarrassing moments are contained in the movie, but some choice bits by the supporting cast are unearthed in the outtakes and deleted scenes, including uncomfortably tacky revelations from Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s washed-up Brat Packer; a delightfully dizzy white-girl rap performed by Debra Messing; and a funny outtake in which Alec Baldwin returns to his Glengarry Glen Ross character’s bad manners in a men’s room scene, much to Stiller’s delight. One of the film’s more absurd running jokes centers around Aniston’s pet, a blind ferret. In order to show that no harm came to the little critter, the disposable supplement “Rodolfo Goes Hollywood” shows him getting the celebrity treatment as he attends the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. The disc interestingly contains no extras produced by the E! Channel–this despite the fact that Hoffman’s character shamelessly plugs the network’s E! True Hollywood Story numerous times throughout the course of the movie. —Ed Grant