Monday, September 12, 2011

You Again

Directed by Alan Fickman.
2010. Rated PG, 105 minutes.
Kristen Bell
Odette Yustman
Jamie Lee Curtis
Sigourney Weaver
Betty White
James Wolk
Kyle Bornheimer
Billy Unger
Kristin Chenoweth
Victor Garber

Hey, have you seen that romantic comedy that ends in a wedding? Of course you have. Yes, this is yet another one. If you still want to see You Again, read on. If you don’t, read on anyway just to be sure. I mean, it’s got Betty White in the cast. That’s gotta count for something, right?

Okay, so we know how it ends. Like most rom-coms it’s not the ending, but how we get there that determines whether its good or not. The easiest route usually starts with boy meets girl. Kudos to this film for not including that little cliché. In fact, YAis not really about the couple that gets married. It’s actually about the contentious relationship between the soon-to-be bride Joanna (Yustman) and her beau’s sister Marni (Bell). Well, it’s mostly about Marni. She was once the classic Hollywood high school nerd. She wore big glasses, had bad hair and got great grades. As an adult, she’s transformed into a beautiful swan with a very successful career. In high school Joanna, then known as J.J. was her nemesis. J.J. was the head cheerleader which by movie logic means she was without question the most beautiful, popular and meanest person in school. Her most famous moment appears to be having Marni carried out of the building and locked out while the entire student body sings Queen’s “We Are the Champions” in perfect harmony.

Now, years later Joanna is marrying Marni’s brother Will (Wolk). He has no idea about her mean girl past despite going to the same school during her reign of terror. She wants to keep it that way. Marni wants Joanna to tell the truth about everything and make an apology. Over the weekend leading up to the bid day, the zany antics of thes two wild and crazy gals ensue. Oh, almost forgot something. Marni’s mom Gail (Curtis) and Joanna’s aunt Ramona (Weaver) have a similar relationship that’s still volatile despite the two having not seen each other in decades.

Yes, what all of these ladies do can accurately be described as zany. Is it funny? Meh. There are a few moments that are good for a laugh. All of our ladies, including Marni’s grandmother (White), play off each other well enough to generate the occasional chuckle. Then there’s the slapstick and pratfalls aspect so some of you won’t be able to stop giggling. That said, a lot of it is unfunny stuff recycled from other unfunny movies. Even worse, the way the handle the whole bully vs geek thing makes it feel like something that should be airing as a half-hour sitcom on ABC Family. I can totally see Marni as the main character in a series developed over time. In a feature, there isn’t enough of her for us to really latch onto. That’s magnified by her willfully sinking to unbecoming depths to do something she could’ve accomplished by confronting Joanna on the first day after finding out about the wedding. We sympathize with what happened to her in high school, but we don’t like her.

All of the bickering, strutting, scowling, rapping and competitive dancing takes us through the prerequisite ups and downs we’ve come to expect from such movies. It has a formula and sticks to it pretty faithfully. So now you know, and knowing is half…um…nevermind. If you like rom-coms see it. If you don’t, don’t.

MY SCORE: 4/10

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