"Along Came Polly," and it ended the four-week reign of "The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King" at the top of the box office this past weekend.

The Universal Pictures' romantic comedy starring Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston brought in $32.8 million over the past weekend. "The Return Of The King" slipped to No. 2 with $12.7 million - its total haul rising to $329.3 million.

Stiller stars as Reuben Feffer, an insurance company risk analyst so overly cautious that he knows (and who else would want to know this?) the precise odds of falling through a subway grate on a New York sidewalk.

Despite his laundry basket full of neuroses, he still manages to stifle them away momentarily to marry the girl of his dreams, Lisa (Debra Messing). What better way of meeting your future bride than by renting an apartment from her real estate office?

While honeymooning in St. Bart's, all of Reuben's risk assessing couldn't have predicted his new wife taking more than a scuba diving lesson from instructor Claude (Hank Azaria).

Having to re-assess his life, Reuben attends a party with best friend Sandy Lyle (hilariously played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) and runs into former grade-school classmate Polly Prince (Aniston). Polly, who in Lynyrd Skynyrd's terms is "free as a bird," earns her money as a waitress for a caterer. Reuben and Polly strike up a conversation and suddenly his interest in her perks up.

Soon the duo is casually dating, taking in her favorite Moroccan restaurant, and which ultimately upsets Reuben's digestive system. The bathroom scene in her apartment is less amusing as it would be due to its oversaturation during the movie's trailer.

However, Reuben is willing to praise the porcelain bowl just to keep seeing Polly on a regular basis. He even takes up salsa dancing after he winds up on the sidelines as she dances with another partner.

It is fun watching the total opposites slowly manipulate their lives slightly to maintain their relationship.

As with all "split up and move on" stories, the former spouse returns to turn this line of dating into a triangle of fun. However, the results end up amusing once all of the risk assessment is done and gone.

"Along Came Polly" is better than expected, due to the chemistry between Stiller and Aniston. They look like they've worked together on numerous projects prior to this film.

The supporting cast is led by Hoffman, Alec Baldwin as Reuben's boss, and Bryan Brown, as a thrill-seeking eccentric in need of a huge life insurance policy. Surprisingly, Hoffman plays the sidekick role especially well as Lyle, the one-time teen actor looking to regain some notoriety. Lyle goes as far as hiring a film crew to tape his version of "True Hollywood Story" in hopes of selling it to a network.

Oh my golly, "Along Came Polly" was quite a jolly at three and a half out of four stars.

"Along Came Polly" is rated PG-13 for sexual content, language, crude humor and some drug references. Running time is 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Director Tim Burton's "Big Fish" continues to entertain audiences, despite flipping from No. 2 to No. 3 with $12.3 million during its second weekend of wide release. The family comedy "Cheaper By The Dozen" rounds out the top five movies with $10.7 million, dropping two places from last weekend. Its overall total rose to $113.9 million.

For more information and show times, contact Regal Cinemas Marketplace 24, 180 Mill Road, Oaks, at (610) 666-6697.

Dennis J. Wright can be reached at dwright@phoenixvillenews.com.

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