Get Over It
Many high school memories can be painful indeed. You Again, a comedy packed with wonderful actresses, could have mined this fact and found a mother load of film gold. Unfortunately, it ends up with a few nuggets instead. Too much repetition, scenes that stretch believability to the limit, and a bit of annoying overacting interfere with a promising concept. The result? Another disappointing trip to the multiplex for me. Making matters worse, this is the September movie I was most eager to see. Still, unlike the film's main character who can’t forget or forgive the treatment she received from a bully in high school -- I’ll probably get over it.
Marnie (Kristen Bell), now a successful PR executive, comes unglued when she hears that her brother Will (James Wolk) is engaged to Joanna (Odette Yusman), her high school nemesis. Although Joanna seems like an entirely different person now, Marnie is convinced she’s the same old bully inside. What’s a good sister to do? Anything to prevent the upcoming wedding, of course, even if it means befriending one of Joanna’s former boyfriends (Kyle Bornheimer) or digging up a time capsule containing devastating videos of her teenage escapades.
Meanwhile, Marnie’s mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) offers little sympathy concerning her daughter’s feelings about Joanna. But when Joanna’s gorgeous aunt (Sigourney Weaver) shows up and happens to be her frenemy from high school, jealousy fills the air. To top it all off, Marnie’s grandmother (Betty White) may have a similar situation of her own. Three generations with this problem? It must be in their genes.
With such a strong cast, You Again should be more entertaining. But it goes to extremes while trying to make us laugh at the same thing over and over again.
Bell (When in Rome) displays her excellent flair for comedy here -- not only in scenes where she’s a geeky high school student but also in those as a successful woman who wants revenge for past wrongs. However, the movie forces this talented actress to do some ridiculous, over-the-top things like breaking plates and throwing a tantrum in an airplane. I hope Bell gets cast in something better soon. Maybe Burlesque will do the trick. Weaver (Avatar) seems to be having fun with her role as the owner of high class hotels around the world. She oozes sophistication and keeps us interested in finding out about the score her character wants to settle with Marnie’s mother. Curtis (Christmas with the Kranks) shows off her physicality in a rousing cheerleading routine; Yusman (Cloverfield) is very photogenic; and White (The Proposal) evokes the most laughs, as usual. But, oh my, why cast the amazing Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked) if she isn’t allowed to sing?
Among the male cast, Bornheimer (She’s Out of My League) stands out as a very strange lovelorn ex. With his leading-man good looks, James Wolk (from TV’s Lone Star) makes me think of a young George Clooney; handsome Sean Wing (Forget Me Not) appears convincing as Bell’s love interest in their few scenes together; Billy Unger (Rock Slyde) wisely underplays his part as a pre-teen family member; and veteran actor Victor Garber (Tuck Everlasting), who portrays Bell’s father, delivers the film’s most amusing line when he tells his out-of-control wife and daughter, “Go to your room!”
Culminating in one of the most farfetched wedding scenes ever filmed, You Again may be a disappointment to viewers with high expectations, but -- because of some wachable performances -- it's not a total disaster.
See, I’m already getting over it.
(Released by Touchstone Pictures and rated “PG” for brief mild language and rude behavior.)
For more information about this film, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.