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About The Production
For screenwriter/director John Hamburg—whose way with comic characters, funny dialogue and hilarious/embarrassing (and sometime raucous) scenarios had made hits out of the previous films of his co-written screenplays Meet the Parents and Zoolander—the character of Reuben Feffer, the risk-shy risk analyst of Along Came Polly, had almost become an unwelcome visitor before he ever made it to the page. Months before Hamburg had begun actually writing his latest screenplay, the characters of Reuben and those in his world had been increasingly occupying the writer's mind.

Hamburg remembers, "With this movie, I was thinking about a guy who planned out his entire life, and then what would be the worst thing that could happen to him? And I thought that it would be the woman he is ready to spend the rest of his life with leaving him on his honeymoon. Now, he's got to start over—so what's the next best/worst thing that could happen? He meets a girl that he thinks he can connect with, and she turns out to be the least committal person ever. And the whole film just grew from there.”

As with his previous comic character-driven scripts, Hamburg initially began penning Polly without specific actors in mind for certain parts, instead crafting the pagebound characters with deft strokes, attempting to establish a basis of reality—then pouring on the mayhem and jolting everyone into life.

He continues, "What appeals to me and one of the great things about writing is that you can think of a normal situation and take it to the comic extreme, making it worse and worse—that's how my mind works.”

But he does admit to having at least a strong inkling about the actor to best inhabit Reuben while working on the script and continues, "I was trying to write a romantic comedy and I had these characters in my mind. For the most part, I really did just try to write and not picture any actors in the roles because I like to write these people until they become real to me. But I had worked with Ben on several movies before, and the more I wrote Reuben, the more I thought that Ben was the perfect guy to do it. I think every day I imagined him doing different scenes.”

Stiller had met Hamburg when he saw his first feature, Safe Men, and their relationship continued through Parents and Zoolander (Stiller starred in both Hamburg co-written projects, in addition to directing and co-writing Zoolander). The demand for Hamburg's scripts had kept the filmmaker from directing, and when he had a draft of Polly ready for reading (which would mark his return to behind the camera as well), he had sent it to Stiller.

Stiller comments, "John's the kind of guy that when most of his filmmaking friends have a finished script or movie, they show it to him to get his feedback—he'll give great input and help you fix something. So it's great to have somebody who you know is that good working on something from the beginning. And it's just more fun to work with him on-set because we laugh at the same things…and he probably gets me to do things that I wouldn't normally feel that comfortable doing.”

For the role of the former Model U.N. delegate and post-breakup romance for Reuben—the titular Polly—Hamburg turned to Emmy Award-winning actress Jennifer Aniston, whose comedic reputation had been cemented by 10 seasons as Friends' Rachel Green and whose growing list of memorable movie roles (Bruce Almighty, The Good Girl) had broadened her popularity and versatility.

Hamburg recalls, "I was trying to figure out who could play Polly and Jennifer came about for various reasons. I was always a big fan of Jennifer's from Friends and some of the movies she had made during the course of that show. She was terrific in Office Space and just phenomenal in The Good Girl. I met with her and it just felt really right. I knew that she would have the ability to play the scenes opposite Ben and keep up with him in terms<


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