You Again (U)

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/11/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Watchable comedy that scrapes a pass due to a likeable cast, strong performances and a strong central idea, but there are several wasted opportunities and it's let down by some questionable directing decisions and a general lack of energy.

What's it all about?
Directed by Andy Fickman, You Again stars Kristen Bell as Marni Olsen, a successful PR executive who's horrified when she discovers that her brother Will (James Wolk) is about to marry Joanna (Odette Yustman), the head cheerleader who tormented her all through high school. Things quickly get worse for Marni when it turns out that her entire family (including Victor Garber as Marni's dad and Betty White as Grandma Bunny) adore Joanna and that, instead of apologising, Joanna pretends that she doesn't remember Marni from high school.

Meanwhile, Marni's seemingly unflappable mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) gets a similar shock when Joanna's aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) turns out to be HER high school nemesis and their old rivalry is quickly re-ignited.

The Good
The performances are excellent: for one thing it's a treat to see Curtis and Weaver onscreen together, as there's a strangeness to the pairing that works in the film's favour. Bell makes a likeably goofy lead (though she's under served by the script) and there's strong support from Megan-Fox-alike Yustman, as well as a series of head scratchingly bizarre cameos that includes Dwayne Johnson and, er, Patrick Duffy.

The film is actually stronger on the dramatic aspects than it is on the comedy – to that end, the script conveys the crippling horror of confronting your enemies (even years later) and also handles its inevitable apology and forgiveness scenes well, managing to get across the cathartic importance of both without degenerating into schmaltzy sentimentality.

The Bad
The problem with the film is that it's mildly amusing rather than laugh-out-loud funny and a lot of the jokes fall flat, while reliable comic talents Kristen Chenoweth and Betty White are both badly underused. Similarly, there are several wasted opportunities (the inevitable Weaver vs Curtis catfight is something of a cop-out, for example), the tone lurches all over the place and the lacklustre direction often feels flat and subdued when it should be ramping things up.

Worth seeing?
The likeable cast ensures that You Again remains watchable but you can't help wondering how much better it might have been in the hands of a different director.

Film Trailer

You Again (U)
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Content updated: 15/11/2010 07:45

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