"They Came Together" aims to treat the romantic comedy with the same broad, parodical lens with which the beloved David Wain-Michael Showalter collaboration "Wet Hot American Summer" regarded the summer camp flick.

It succeeds in fits and starts, thanks to the undiminished charms of stars Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd as well as the filmmakers' knack for dadaist touches and amplifying conventions to the point of absurdity.

The ironic sensibility is so pervasive, in fact, that the movie shifts away from recognizable human territory and into the sort of purely silly, ironic terrain reserved for "Anchorman" and its ilk. That's a mistake for two reasons: it wastes the affable leads by giving them little to play with and establishes a standard for a humor quotient that the movie can't hit.

The story of small business candy store owner Molly (Poehler) and her burgeoning romance with candy conglomerate executive Joel (Rudd) hits all the usual marks, from meet cutes to conversations with BFFs and an interrupted wedding.

It's occasionally funny but never quite the laugh riot you're hoping for.

Directed by David Wain
Starring Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Cobie Smulders, Christopher Meloni, Bill Hader
Rated R
Opens Friday at Cinema Village