You Again is one of those slapstick farces in which you, the viewer, have to put aside most of your expectations and just sit back and have some fun. If you’re able to admit that Moe Jelline’s screenplay is serviceable, yet rife with cliches, then you’ll be able to enjoy the fine direction by Andy Fickman and the excellent cast having a good time. Their good time is infectious and makes You Again a silly, mindless popcorn movie good for a Saturday night with your significant other or even your kids.
The talented Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Veronica Mars) plays Marnie, a successful PR rep has to make a trip home for her brother’s wedding. What she doesn’t realize is that her brother, Will (James Wolk) is marrying Joanna (Odette Yustman), the girl who tormented Marnie in high school and made her life a living hell. In one of those “only in the movies” contrivances, Joanna claims to not remember Marnie. Thus, Marnie sets out to prove that the too good to be true Joanna does remember torturing her and that she’s a phony.
Yes, it’s one of those stories in which everything could have easily been resolved if Joanna took Marnie aside and privately apologized for being a bitch all of those years ago. She could have explained how and why she had a change of heat and ask for forgiveness. But then the movie would have been ten minutes long and what’s the fun it that. Like I said, you have to accept the fact that the script has problems and just take in the pleasure of watching Bell and Yustman go at it.
But it’s not just the young ones who get to bitch slap each other.We learn that Joanna’s parents are dead and that her closest relative is her Aunt Ramona. Ramona arrives for the wedding and she turns out to be Marnie’s mom’s arch nemesis from high school. Good lord, this movie is really starting to sound awful the more I write about it, but it’s not that bad, I swear. Playing Marnie’s mother, Gail, is the wonderful and funny, Jamie Lee Curtis (don’t think so? Check out Freaky Friday, she stole that movie from Lindsay Lohan). Just as Marnie begins to compete with Joanna, Gal; begins to compete with Ramona, a successful businesswoman. Ramona is played by another screen legend, Sigourney Weaver. Seeing Weaver and Curtis on screen together is fantastic; the two of them make a great comic team and I wish that someone would create another project for the two of them, maybe a female version of The In-Laws.
The film continues along as the wedding slowly approaches. As you’d expect, everything is going to be resolved by the end (this is a Disney film, after all) and eventually all four women will come to some sort of understanding. Predictable, yes, but there are still enough laughs to warrant at least a rental. In addition to the leading ladies, the fine group of actors assembled for You Again include Victor Garber (Alias), Kristen Chenoweth (Glee, Wicked), Kyle Bornheimer (She’s Out of Your League) and Betty White. There’s also a very funny cameo by one of White’s former co-stars to end the film. Oh, and Hall & Oates show up, too!
Rated PG, You Again is safe for you and your children. Almost all of the humor is physical comedy. Some of the marketing for the film has labeled it as a romantic comedy, but that’s a stretch. The humor is all situational and dealing with the competitive natures of the four ladies. As I said earlier, this isn’t award winning material. However, Bell is so charming of an actress that the film is worth seeing just for her. Furthermore seeing Curtis and Weaver, two of the 80’s most popular actresses, sharing screen time is such a delight, I would recommend it for those moments alone. I can’t guarantee that you’ll save any brain cells watching You Again, but I think you may have a good time and have some good laughs.
You Again is available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Bonuses include bloopers, deleted scenes, a featurette following director, Fickman, on the set, and a comical “ask the cast” feature.