Just when you thought you were totally disgusted with Ben and Jen, Polly came along. Now, there's an all-new Bennifer — and they're heading straight for the potty.
Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston's Along Came Polly, opening today, is not for the squeamish. Once again, Stiller plays a character seemingly incapable of going to the bathroom without completely humiliating himself.
"I am embarrassed," Stiller says, recalling various moments through the years when he's had to film scenes in which his characters get caught with their pants down.
If you enjoyed Stiller's infamous zipper catastrophe in There's Something About Mary, you'll find that certain something about Polly, too.
In this film, Stiller plays an uptight risk assessor. In one scene, he's forced to improvise when he discovers the toilet paper in his date's bathroom has run out.
Even for a seasoned veteran of such off-color slapstick, Stiller says it's never easy. "We have discussions about scenes like that that are difficult sometimes personally for me to approach," he says.
"Usually, the discussions are like, 'All right, we'll try it, and if it doesn't work, it won't be in the movie.' And it's always in the movie."
On-screen Chemistry Calculations
Physical comedy only works when the audience cares about the characters and the chemistry between them. In Polly, Stiller says, a lot will depend on his on-screen chemistry with Aniston.
"At the end of the day, you hope that there's something there that works," he says. "But it's like anything, where you just can't go for that result."
As the ditsy Polly, Aniston doesn't stray far from her Friends Rachel persona, with a dash of Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe thrown in.
Stiller's character, Reuben, falls for Polly after his bride cheats on him (during the first day of their honeymoon) with their French scuba instructor, a muscular, naked Hank Azaria, who gives a dead-on impersonation of Fabio. Polly reunites Stiller with writer-director John Hamburg, who collaborated with him on Meet the Parents and Zoolander, two of his most outlandish comedies.
But will movie audiences will like this Bennifer more than the one that flopped so famously in Gigli?
"I know that we both enjoyed each other's company and laughed at each other, and had fun working together," says Stiller.
The rest will be up to the audience to decide.