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PCR # 200  (Vol. 5, No. 4)  This edition is for the week of January 19--25, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Along Came Polly"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Universal Pictures     
Starring: Ben Stiller, Jennifer Anniston, Debra Messing, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alec Baldwin
Directed by: John Hamburg
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Like Woody Allen in the l970s and 80s, Ben Stiller is proving to be THE neurotic Jewish guy of the 21st Century. In "Polly," Stiller is Reuben Pfeffer, an insurance risk analyst who lives his life by the same rules he uses at his job. The higher the risk, the more you avoid it. Reuben has finally taken the biggest risk of his life and has married his long time girlfriend (Messing.) Sadly, he catches his bride in the bed of the hunky scuba instructor (a very bulked up Hank Azaria) on the first day of their honeymoon. Heading back to New York alone, Reuben decides to start his life anew. During an art exhibition, he runs into an old junior high classmate, Polly Prince (Anniston). They start up a conversation and slowly begin a relationship. Reuben seems happy as Polly brings out the reckless nature he has kept hidden. But when Messing suddenly returns, begging for another chance, Reuben must decide between what he thinks is safe and what his heart tells him.

A fine romantic comedy, "Along Came Polly" works best when Stiller and Anniston are together. As a globe-hopping spirit who never stays in one place for long, Polly has done things Reuben can only imagine. Anniston shows the same comic timing she has on televisions' "Friends," but here she gets to show some funny quirks, like having a near-blind ferret as a pet. Baldwin turns in another fine supporting performance as Stiller's boss and it's great to see Bryan Brown on the big screen again, here playing an Aussie big wig whose lust for adventure (he likes to swim with great white sharks) makes him a terrible risk where insurance is concerned. However, the highlight work here is Hoffman. As a former child star (he had one hit film as a youngster) now performing in community theatre, Hoffman doesn't realize that any fame he had expired years ago. While scheduled to play Judas in a local production of "Jesus Christ Superstar," Hoffman decides, right before curtain, that he will not only play Judas, but Christ as well!

Like next week's "Win A Date With Tad Hamilton," "Along Came Polly" is the perfect date movie to snuggle up to during the chilly season. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Along Came Polly"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Along Came Polly" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.