You Again: A Movie I Won’t Be Seeing Again

24 09 2010

You Again is a comedy that will have a high female demographic appeal. With an all-star cast comprised of Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Kristin Chenoweth and Betty White, there are definitely some heavy-hitting comedy chops at play. But does You Again deliver? Here’s the breakdown:

Marni (Bell) had a horrible high school experience. Constantly teased and humiliated by the popular “JJ” (Yustman), Marni relied on the support of her older brother to make it through high school. Years later, Marni comes home for her brother’s wedding, only to realize he is marrying none other than JJ, now Joanna, her high school nemesis. To add to the drama, Joanna’s aunt, Ramona (Weaver), turns out to be Marni’s mother’s (Curtis) own high school enemy. Will old fueds be rekindled? Will these women be able to forgive and forget?

The Monkey: Kristen Bell is fun to watch in anything she’s in. Ever since seeing her in the amazing and appallingly short-lived TV show, Veronica Mars, I’ve been a Bell fan (not to mention her epic turn as a Star Wars fangirl in 2008’s Fanboys). Her comic timing and facial expressions are hilarious and she carries the movie well.

It was nice to see Victor Garber in a fun role, as Marni’s dad. I’ll never be able to see him as anything but the stone-cold Jack from TV’s Alias, but he does comedy well. Great to see some of my favorite TV stars represent!

The movie features some surprising cameos that definitely earn some laughs, including Betty White, Kristin Chenoweth, Cloris Leachman and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

The Weasel: The premise of You Again is comic gold, yet somehow, the filmmakers were able to make it completely unfunny. It was atrociously paced, edited together without any thought to the overall movie. There was no clear rising action and the movie’s conclusion was completely unearned. What little plot there was didn’t get started till a third of the way into the movie, and even then, never fully took off. You Again had all the necessary plot points and cliché romantic comedy moments; it almost felt like a movie version of paint-by-numbers.

Curtis and Weaver were wasted. Their potential for a riotously funny screen duet was overlooked. Instead, they were forced to deliver canned dialogue with a punch line never in sight. I was hoping for something along the lines of Curtis’ 2003 Freaky Friday, but instead, got a movie that parades big stars across the screen for no apparent reason. These women can act, people, and they’re funny! But how did they manage to make You Again feel like a straight-to-DVD flick?

And don’t even get me started on Odette Yustman. Well, this is a movie review blog, so I guess I have to get started. How she ever made it past high school drama is beyond me. She plays a lame villainess, without the personality to make the audience feel anything, let alone that sweet love-hate thing that truly good movie villains elicit.  And during emotional scenes, her piercingly grating, high pitched whine of a voice distracts from anything she’s saying and induces ear bleeds. If I ever see her in a movie again, I’ll definitely be saying, “you again?!”

A movie with all the right ingredients for hilarity, yet manages, somehow, to create a bungled mess of unfunny. It’s too bad the filmmakers didn’t just let these actors loose on a movie set, relying on ad-libs and scenes of craft service table gossip – I bet it would have been funnier.

1 Death Star out of 5

What do you think? Do you wish Kristen Bell would get some better movie roles? Would you like to see Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis try again as a comedy duo? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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