You Again (2010)
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I'm still really curious to know what women think when they see two women in their 20's pulling mean, callow tricks on each other, then seeing two other women in their 50's, who are attractive for their age I might add, trying to one-up each other while taking dance lessons in preparation for a wedding. Can real life women actually relate to these women on screen? Do they think their antics are funny?
Speaking as a man (whether or not that's important is up to you, the reader), I found these shenanigans ranging from cat fights to forced slapstick comedy neither amusing nor believable. If I saw my Mom acting the way either Jamie Lee Curtis or Sigourney Weaver do on screen, I would get angry, and quick.
But I digress. This movie starts out on a good note showing Marni Olsen (Kristen Bell) in high school with glasses, braces, and a bad case of acne. Although the nerd stereotype is a bit overdone here, somehow Bell succeeds in being unglamorous to the point where we, the audience, feel for her.
Her main tormentor is popular cheerleader J.J. (Odette Yustman), who is smoking hot, but effectively easy to dislike. However, the first mean prank you see pulled on Marni is her being crowd-surfed out of school by a group of jocks, including that mean cheerleader. Marni seems to be angry at J.J. and only J.J., somehow forgetting that she wasn't the only one in the crowd.
Fast forward less than a decade later, and Marni has lost the braces and glasses, is a successful P.R. executive, and looks as hot as she did in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (2008). Her post-high school transformation is one many people would envy, but none of that matters when she finds out that her older brother is about to marry J.J., who is now known as Joanne.
Marni's mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) tries to convince Marni to put the past behind her. That is, of course, until it's revealed that Joanne's aunt is Ramona (Sigourney Weaver), a woman who used to be "best friends" with Gail in high school. However, you know that unresolved animosity brews underneath the facade of these two women when a flashback reveals Ramona pushing Gail into a pool. Why she did this, the movie never really explains.
The rest of the movie remains laugh-less as Kristen Bell seems to trip over herself and bang her head into several different people and objects, almost as if she's Curly from The Three Stooges. One scene shows her falling off a running path into a nest of red ants. Her love interest tries to help her, but their heads bump into one another. Nuk nuk nuk!
Of course, when Marni and Joanne trade blows, there is the inevitable catfight with dialogue so vapid and uninspired. When Joanne throws a dish at Marni, she replies, "Ooh, kitty likes to scratch!" I don't know what other movie I've heard that phrase in, but it's probably because it has been in at least six other films.
With such hackneyed verbal taunts comes a fight that fails to intrigue. Dishes get broken, Marni smashes a vase Joanne got as a gift that she claims is "so expensive" (yet looks like one you could get for $2 at Goodwill), and Joanne dumps some sort of soup over Marni's head. Are you laughing yet? You wonder what is wrong with these people, and why such hot women have maturity levels that make Zach Galifianakis look like Don Draper. Even worse, once the pratfalls come to a close, the movie tries to sugarcoat itself with messages of peace, love and reconciliation, and the rest of the movie is boring.
I thought Betty White would be the breath of fresh air in this movie. After all, she was hilarious as a "Saturday Night Live" host last year. Unfortunately, she has no really funny lines, and a really dumb gag involving false teeth. Kristen Chenowith is also equally wasted as a flamboyant Southern belle wedding planner who seems to be in the wrong movie. There are also a handful of subplots that go nowhere, and scenes completely irrelevant to the story that go on forever. The cheerleader's dance to Kris Kross's "Jump" is energetic, but belongs in another "Bring It On" sequel.
"You Again" is a great looking movie with likable actors in it. Unfortunately, the lead actresses are forced to act childishly, then mend their ways through fluffy speeches about family values, aided by background music borrowed from past episodes of "Full House". It could have been a memorable film, but somehow chose not to be and went the "My Best Friend's Wedding" route.
The story has its moments. At times, it's actually very funny. Bell plays a former high school geek whose brother is suddenly getting married to the girl who made her teenage years a complete misery and whose wedding she decides she wants to break up. Meanwhile her mom (Curtis) discovers that the bride's aunt (Weaver) was someone she had a falling out with in high school. The unnamed cameo at the end is a continuation on the theme, with the mystery cameo being someone Betty White's character had a falling out with in high school, so these families have a 3 generation long feud to overcome to make this marriage work. To me, I thought most of the laughs occurred in two settings - when Curtis visits Weaver at her hotel and then at the rehearsal dinner. There are a lot of laughs in those scenes.
Unfortunately, although there are some good laughs in this, there aren't enough laughs in this. In fact, sometimes the movie gets downright heavy and far too serious; at times the characters seem to be truly hurtful to each other in a less than fun way, and the movie seems to forget that it's a comedy. It does have its moments. It just needed to have more.
(My Comment) The movie itself is not that appealing as a romantic comedy, but it had a great female cast. The storyline is based on a small premise that what happens in high school lives with you forever which is absurd. Kristen Bell's performance as the pathetic pimply face girl with low self esteem, pressed into getting revenge, was right on target, and Odette Yustman as her rival was also good. I think the writers wasted the great talents of Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis. However, Betty White steals every scene she is in. Patrick Duffy and someone else (I won't say) make a cameo appearance. After about 45 minutes, the story was a little boring, but it picked up by the end. The lesson that is taught by this story is that you must learn from your past and everyone is entitled to a second chance, "maybe"? (Touchstone Pictures, Run Time 1:45, Rated PG)(4/10)
Marni, an acne-riddled high school senior with glasses and braces, reveals how she is tormented and bullied by other girls, specifically Joanna, who made Marni's high school life miserable. Years later, in 2010, however, she is a successful public relations executive, recently promoted to a job in New York. When she flies home to her older brother's wedding, she discovers her brother Will is about to marry Joanna. Marni is also upset to see that Joanna fits in very well with the family. The plot thickens when her mother Gail meets up with Joanna's aunt Ramona, Gail's former best friend who pushed her into a pool at their senior prom. Ramona is now a successful, wealthy woman who owns several hotels and a private plane. Now they must all get along for her brother's sake, but it's a matter of letting the past go.
One of the major things that annoyed me is Betty White. Since she was "so adorable" in The Proposal, they figured they needed a "hip granny" for this movie too, it was rather pathetic and she looks like she's just about to give up on life. Then with the plot, it's like it had bipolar disorder, it just didn't know what it wanted. First Joanna is evil, then she's good, then she's evil, then she's good, then she's evil again, then she's good again? It didn't work, why not just make her evil all the way? Then our "hero", Marni, is just as evil as Joanna. She can't let go of the past and just makes a total fool of herself during the movie. How is her character likable? She says she loves her brother so much, yet she can't let high school go? People change and she never gave Joanna a chance to see if she had grown up or not. For someone who is so successful now, you'd think she would put that as her revenge.
Then to top it all off, they end the movie with throwing a random guy who has 5 minutes of screen time as Marni's love interest. God forbid they have a girl remain single in a film, it's just so sad to leave her alone. The only thing I found redeeming about this movie was Jamie and Sigourney, they had great chemistry and honestly I would have rather had the movie be about them. They were spot on with their comedy and were great to see on screen bouncing off each other with their lines. But this was just a horrible movie, pathetically put together and I would say just stay away from this movie. I can forgive Jamie and Sigourney, but I pity the other fools who took some zangy drugs to say yes to this script.
This is all rather good, if improbable, fun. Kristin Bell does fairly well with a part which is fairly vindictive (in what she believes is a good cause) for much of the film, as well as somewhat contradictory. Odette Yustman does better as Joanna, a character who is allowed to show high school nastiness and an apparently reformed side - there is much more shading here.
But the two older women have the meatier roles, and both relish the opportunity to play fairly broad comedy (although Jamie Lee Curtis does frequently slip over the edge into gurning caricature). There are also some entertaining supporting characters, with Kyle Bornheimer's Tim delivering a particularly funny "speech" at the wedding rehearsal.
The humour is a pleasing mix of situational, character, wordplay, and slapstick, with only the unfunny and unnecessary bathroom sequence falling flat.
And the film resolves nicely - notwithstanding the nastiness which drives most of the film, things end well.
I enjoyed this.
(SPOILERS) The acting was bad, too. I'm sorry, but it was. Especially during the rehearsal dinner! I also felt that the character development showed little to none, so when all the outbursts happened, I didn't completely understand why. Why was the groom so affected? I didn't sympathize with him at all. Why did Joanna back out of her engagement with Tim? And who in the world WAS Tim?! He didn't even make any important changes to the plot other than that stupid dinner! Also, I disliked Joanna. Even until the ending. She just seemed like such a bitch! Such a phony! Ugh. So many useless characters plus below average acting. It made the film even worse than it already was. (/SPOILERS)
"When a young woman realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her in high school, she sets out to expose the fiancée's true colors." It sounds like a good story line, don't you think? It makes us think that many crazy revenge plots would happen and make us laugh. Sad to say, that just wasn't the case with this movie. This movie just wasn't entertaining. But I'll give it props for having a couple of funny scenes that gave me a few giggles.
I did not give this a 3/10 for the slapstick humor, though. I gave it a 3 for the moral. As of now, I'm hating high school and it makes me think. What will happen in 8 years? Will I be the same person that I am now? It just made me wonder. For making my brain churn, this movie gets a 3 rating. And that is pretty generous.
Don't bother watching this. Waste of time. Your 105 minutes would be better used by rewatching Bride Wars, instead. Bad movie. I just can't wrap my head around it. I was expecting something good to let the night fly by, but this just wasted my time.
Marni and her brother Will (Jimmy Wolk) have always been close, and she's both devastated and furious when she discovers the bride-to-be is none other than her high school nemesis who now answers to the name Joanna. Marni's mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) is sympathetic, but tells Marni that high school is in the past and she needs to move on. That advice comes easily to Gail until she discovers Joanna's Aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) is her own high school nemesis.
Despite the happy occasion that has gathered the family together, Marni is less than thrilled. After all, JJ wasn't the best of persons in high school, and Marni can't imagine she's changed much! After an awkward reunion and family dinner, Marni and her younger brother Ben decide to do what they can to derail the nuptials.
Kristen Bell is a very pretty girl, and it couldn't have been easy to transform her into the unattractive high school geek that Marni was supposed to have been. Yet make-up artists and Bell's adoption of some less than pretty tics make you believe in the earlier version of Marni. Odette Yustman also does a good job as the pretty, popular girl whose mission in life is to make Marni miserable. Some of the movie's best moments come, though, as the result of the past and present rivalry between Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver. I'd be very surprised if the two of them had less than a ball doing their scenes together because it certainly shows on screen that way.
The story itself is relatively predictable, and the direction, while competent, is nothing special. The script is marred by moments of melodrama that undermine the otherwise marginal believability of the story, and though the actors handle their lines well, even genuine talent isn't enough to overcome some of the things they must say and do. In particular, poor Kristen Chenoweth in a role as the wedding planner—an actress I consider a truly brilliant talent—is stuck in a role where the caricature overwhelms even her formidable abilities. While Betty White (who portrays Marni's Grandma Bunny) is also silly, she, at least, gets away with it.
BOTTOM LINE: You Again is often diverting, and has enough elements of realism in it to make you recall your own high school days (for good or for ill), but it doesn't overcome the limitations imposed on it by its script, or a story that we've all frankly heard before. I was moderately entertained and mildly amused in the theatre, but when the movie was played out, I was less than fulfilled. ADDENDUM: Stay for the credits. Trust me.
POLITICAL NOTES: None.
FAMILY SUITABILITY: You Again is rated PG for "brief mild language and rude behavior." Produced by Touchstone (a Disney-owned company), the largely family-friendly fare is no real surprise. While I wouldn't recommend You Again for really young children (it's not going to hold their interest nor will they understand some of the complications that ensue from various and sundry misunderstandings or manipulations), most parents should have no problem with their tweens or teens buying a ticket.
There are some very funny and unexpected cameos as well as great supporting acting, especially by the love sick and a little mentally sick character, Tim. I'd say this is probably the best date film out in theaters now. Betty White steals most of the scenes she's in which is no crime by me. This movie is best enjoyed if you're up for something a little silly. Then again, when is a comedy ever supposed to be taken super seriously? You Again is definitely worth a look, especially as a date movie or family movie.
Marni discovers that her family loves Joanna, and when she meets her, she wants Joanna to apologize for the humiliations she was submitted in the high-school. But Joanna pretends that she has not recognized Marni and promises a fresh start to them. Meanwhile Joanna's aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) arrives for the wedding and Marni's mother Gail Byer (Jamie Lee Curtis) recognizes her as her high-school former friend that has become her enemy.
The resented Marni seeks revenge and decides to expose the past of Joanna to Will to protect her brother and force him to call off his wedding while Gail begins a personal dispute with Ramona.
"You Again" is a movie with a contradictory lead character but a pleasant conclusion. Marni is a loser in high-school and a vengeful woman, and it is hard to like her. Further, how could a woman with a clumsy and imbecile behavior is promoted to VP of a company? No matter how traumatic might have been her life in high-school, it does not justify her jealousy and immature behavior of woman promoted to an executive position, and she does not walk the way she talks in her initial speech.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver perform strong characters and their competition is funny. And the character of the gorgeous Odette Yustman is not the villain of the story in the end. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Você de Novo" ("You Again")
This is just a comedy. They went for slapstick instead of lessons on the malice of society. Bullies don't mature, and never recognize the harm they cause. So despite the film's insistence that this is not a fairy tale, it really is. The relationship and interaction between Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver is more realistic, but still wouldn't be as neat and shiny as portrayed.
"You Again" gives nothing of essence or real meaning. Just a few laughs for no greater purpose – though judging by the theatre-going audience that's all they were looking for. I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that Hollywood chose yet again not to tread on more truthful ground.
And by bullied, I mean that Odette calls her Moo. Not kidding.
OK, so sometime later, Marni (Kristen Bell) is a publicist, because in rom-coms these people are always publicists. She finds out that her brother Will (James Wolk) is getting married. Also, Will is supposed to be older, but he certainly doesn't look it. It turns out that he's getting married to Joanna (Odette Yustman). To make matters worse, Joanna's aunt Romona (Sigourney Weaver) was rivals with Marni's mom Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) back in high school. WHAT A COINCIDENCE! So what follows is a series of unfunny pratfalls and other crappy slapstick. James Wolk is a pretty bland actor. Odette Yustman was awful. Kristen Bell was so-so. We also have Betty White and Victor Garber, but they aren't given much to do. The best performances are from Weaver and Curtis, but they're still not that great.
I get it. It's a romantic comedy. It's gonna be predictable. blah blah blah. But it's neither romantic nor funny. It's boring as hell. It'd dull as hell. It's stupid. It's irritating. All the characters are unlikable except Will and the actor playing him couldn't act.
Then we get one of the stupidest endings that I've ever seen. I hated this movie. 2nd worst movie of 2010. Worst movie Kristen Bell has done. Worst movie any of these cast members have done. It's not funny. It's not charming. It's not cute. It's not engaging. It's just stupid. Skip You Again.
For those who say that what happens in high school stays behind, not affecting people like it did Marni (Kristen Bell), they must not have been a victim of bullies. Marni's dilemma took me back to high school and the group of bullies who made my life a living hell. 35 years later, I am still affected by the cruelty. It does stay with most people.
Marni's resentment toward Joanna years after the torment is very believable, as well as comical. Then to find out Joanna is about to marry her brother, I can only imagine how hard that would be to swallow.
Marni's transition from geek to goddess and back to geek sets up a very amusing premise. Having her mom deal with a high school rivalry of her own, and to top it off, her grandmother having the same at the end just adds more layers to the story while staying focused on Marni and her core issue with the woman about to become her sister-in-law.
Marni's arc when she learns how much her brother Will really loves Joanna is the perfect lesson for a comedy to deliver. Having to put aside her own pain in order to help her brother find happiness is something most people would struggle to do, especially when it involves making the former bully happy.
Kudos to the entire crew for delivering a comedy I will remember for a very long time.
Many reviewers are labeling "You Again" as 2010's "Bride Wars" and while I see a few similarities between the two films, "You Again" is a far superior film. I was actually perplexed by the amount of negative press this film received. While it is a far cry from an Oscar worthy, it was still a feel good film with a really funny story and interesting premise. "You Again" is a movie about a nerdy high school chick who is bullied by the head cheerleader only to find out years later that her brother is engaged to the woman who ruined four years of her life. A plot like that is ripe for comedy. Furthermore, the movie addresses the theme of confronting and overcoming high school rivalries; a topic I feel very few movies address.
One may argue that the film is too silly for it's own good. I would have to say that it's true especially towards the end but in all honesty its a Hollywood comedy. I would rather it be a bit too silly than a film loaded with sex gags as a filler. There are some really funny scenes in this movie too. I loved the whole car ride scene when Joanna plays "We are the Champions" and of course, the dance studio scene. I think sometimes watching actors act like teenagers are funny especially if you can understand where they are coming from. The reaction that Kristen Bell's character has when she sees Joanna again is priceless. Try to put yourself in these shoes...you are tortured in high school and get out hoping to never see that person again but find out they are marrying a family member. That's like a nightmare of epic portions. The thing I thought was even more humorous about the film was the fact they showed it happens to all generations, not just the younger. I think Jamie Lee Curtis's reaction to Weaver's entrance was equally priceless.
Kristen Bell is the highlight of the film. I always enjoyed her in these types of roles. I find her to be cute and lovable. She plays a good nerd in the beginning and I found it believable because it fits her as a person. Bell doesn't seem to have that mass appeal that say Reese Witherspoon has but I do enjoy her films and hope she continues to do films. I would say her character Marni is a bit similar to her character in "When in Rome," however here the character has more depth. It's a better written character with more of a background story.
As for the other actors, I felt Odette Yustman was just great and like Bell really fit her character. You can tell that she wasn't this innocent girl she pretended to be. She plays one hell of a mean girl that's for sure. I think she had great chemistry with Bell as enemies. As for Curtis, she's good in comedies and I loved her in this film. While she plays the mom role here watching her competing with Sigourney Weaver is a blast. I think everyone involved did a good job with their roles and did what the script requested of them. I should mention Bette White, who absolutely steals the scenes and has a hilarious scene at the films conclusion.
I really don't know what all the reviewers were complaining about with "You Again." I thought the premise was fairly unique and the overall film was fun and full of fluff. The movie was really funny at times even though it used the typical clichés that comedies nowadays tend to use. This is a movie where you just sit back and enjoy a few good laughs. I know as a male, I didn't mind watching this film and felt that it wasn't like the typical chick flick. The ending was rather typical and overly clichéd but than again that's not surprising coming out of Hollywood.
All in all,"You Again" is an enjoyable comedy that I wouldn't mind having to watch again. Everyone involved did a great job especially Bell who steals the show and wins the audience over within the first 10 minutes of the film. Just remember people, this is a silly comedy and not a comedic masterpiece. No one should be expecting an Oscar worthy film and if you can get past that you should be able to enjoy to this. I personally think a lot of people have enjoyed this film despite what the critics say because can relate to one of the characters in one way or another. It's an cute and enjoyable flick and I recommend those looking for a wholesome laugh to check it out.
MovieManMenzel's final rating for "You Again" is a 7 out of 10.
Look for a fast flowing, I can figure out what was coming next, cute movie. My wife told me to use cute. Believable, nah! But parents can take their kids, guys can take their girls without being raunched over like the movie--Going the Distance.
Cameos galore especially at the end when--I can't tell you--shows up as Betty White's nemesis. Figure it out and enjoy the moment. No it is not Mary Tyler Moore but you are close.
As humans, the latter is always a challenge, and the former opportunity just too great to pass up, now being in the position to memorably derail someone else's marriage plans, even if it means having to unintentionally hurt one's family member (Marni's brother Will, played by James Wolk) as a collateral. It's revenge of the nerd, bitchy cat-fight style, made worse when one doesn't acknowledge the past in the hopes of starting a relationship afresh, which is not what the other party would desire, setting up a series of sequences that are played out for laughs, even though they are as predictable as they come in making life miserable for others.
But it's the idea and the thought behind the film that seems a little bit more interesting, as it's really quite relatable since in life we do step on the toes of others, as do others on ours as well. It's what you do with being emotionally terrorized that matters, and the best effect is to turn that into positive energy to transform oneself for the better, rather than to keep on regretting and wanting to right the wrongs, but not sure how to go about doing so. The advice of course is to champion oneself to be better rather than to focus on destroying the other party and before you know it, you become what and who you despise.
The highlight of the show turned out to be the veterans who demonstrate that age is no factor when it comes to having fun. The likes of Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver lend gravitas to the young adult leads of Bell and Yustman, and I wonder if the careers of the latter will be as promising to live up to that of the former few. Of note is the pairing and rivalry of Jamie Lee Curtis' Gail, Marni's mum, and Sigourney Weaver's Ramona, Joanna's aunt, that states the inter-family rivalry goes beyond one generation, and in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, the coming together of two families bring on some complications which provide an avenue for comedy as each pair want to go one up against the other.
Director Andy Fickman, who has helmed a series of family friendly films for Disney such as The Game Plan and Race to Witch Mountain, continues his services here for Disney and I suppose his being chummy with Dwayne The Rock Johnson meant the one time wrestler has got to appear somewhere in the film, even as a cameo, and cranks up a surprise appearance of a singing duo toward the end which by Hollywood standards is what's expected of a romantic comedy.
"You Again" is a movie that reveals how insignificant high school is when looking at the big picture and how important it is to let the past be the past. This film tells the story of the struggles of high schooler Marni (Kristen Bell) and her arch nemesis Joanna (Odette Yustman) when they are thrown into each other's lives one again when Mari discovers that Joanna is about to marry her older brother Will (James Wolk). As their rivalry resurfaces, Marni's mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Joanna's Aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) realize that they both went to high school together as well and ended their friendship on bad terms. Betty White is also in the film playing the character of Marni's Grandma Bunny
The Good: The cast contains a lot of big Hollywood names and is the best part of the film. Kristen Bell is a very likable actress and is very good at what she does in all of her films. Her portrayal of Marni is very good and is a role that she really hasn't played before. Usually she is portrayed as the stuck up chick opposed to the nerdy chick in this film. The performances of both Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis are very funny and prove that they are good on screen together. Lastly the comical genius of Betty White owns the screen when she is present. As usual all of her jokes can be broken down into a series of very funny one-liners. There are also various celebrity cameos in the film that may surprise you. The best scene in the film is about one hour into the film and takes place in a dance studio where all of these talented actors just relax and have fun. If the rest of the film followed suite this would have been a very funny movie.
The Bad: The film is very excruciating to watch for the first hour and shows slight improvement after the scene mentioned above. The movie fails to go anywhere and has a lot of unnecessary scenes including the ending segment of the film. The film takes itself way too seriously by including numerous vary dramatic scenes that take away from the fun that the film could have had. Movies like "The Proposal" knew their place in their genre and ran with it to succeed while this film does not know its identity. Lastly, the incorporation of Kristen Chenoweth's role as the wedding planer was pointless and takes a lot away from the film. She is a very annoying character and a very poor actress and is one of the reasons why the film is excruciating to watch.
Final Thought: If the "You Again" was have based off of the last thirty seconds of the film, this would have been a very entertaining movie. Despite the cast and some surprise cameos there is not enough Betty White Antics to make film this worth seeing in theatres, therefore save some money and wait for DVD.