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Movie Review: You Again

September 24, 2010

You Again – A Touchstone Pictures’ Release

http://www.youagain-themovie.com/

Release Date: September 24th

Rated PG for brief mild language and rude behaviour

Running time: 105 minutes

 

Andy Fickman (dir.)

 

Moe Jelline (writer)

 

Nathan Wang (music)

 

Kristen Bell as Marni

Jamie Lee Curtis as Gail

Sigourney Weaver as Aunt Ramona

Odette Yustman as Joanna

Victor Garber as Mark

Betty White as Grandma Bunny

James Wolk as Will

Kristin Chenoweth as Georgia

 

©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. – Photo credit: Mark Fellman

(L-R) Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Kristen Bell in You Again.

 

Our reviews below:

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You Again Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

‘You again?’ is perhaps what director Andy Fickman said when confronting all the clichés in front of him in You Again – the latest comedy from Touchstone Pictures.  Starring an all-star cast of likable actresses, the results are predictably predictable.  This ‘all-hell-breaks-loose-before-a-wedding’ comedy is nothing we haven’t seen before, the only surprise is that it’s actually a mildly entertaining diversion.

 

Bullied in high school, Marni (Kristen Bell) is now a successful rep for a PR firm.  When she returns home for her brother’s wedding, much to her horror, he’s marrying her high school tormentor Joanna (Odette Yustman).  Things really get interesting – or contrived, depending how you look at it – when Marni’s mom Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) recognizes Joanna’s aunt, Mona (Sigourney Weaver), from her own high school days.  They fight, but at the end must all forgive each other and move on.

 

Did we really need a plate fight ending with a vat of pea soup being dumped over someone’s head?  I don’t think so.  These actresses can be funny enough without the physical fighting and attempts at slapstick that are often a part of this script.  But the actresses, including the scene-stealing Betty White and Kristen Chenoweth, are mostly able to rise above the uneven material.

 

Could something better have been concocted to showcase this ensemble cast?  Probably, but You Again plays at about the level you would expect from this sort of comedy.  Despite its flaws, this is worth checking out for the actresses, but no harm if you wait for the DVD.

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You Again Review By Erin V.

**1/2 (out of 4)

You Again has the kind of premise that only takes place in the movies, and certainly puts the characters all into quite a contrived situation ripe for quallels.  Marni (Kristen Bell) is heading back home after years for her brother’s wedding to a fiancé she’s never met – or has she?  Turns out, it’s her arch-nemisis from highschool, Joanna (Odette Yustman), who made her teen years a living hell.  Her mom tells her what’s past is past, until she realizes that Joanna’s aunt (Sigorney Weaver) is her own high-school rival…

 

The thing is, there are so many really annoying romantic comedies these days.  Luckily, for me You Again didn’t fall into that category.  Sure, it’s not the greatest film, but for the audience that’s going to go, they will be served up with a rom-com that is fairly tame and actually has characters that seem to care about their situation.  It passed the time, and I didn’t mind it, although couldn’t argue with the fact that it will lose nothing if you wait for the DVD.

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You Again Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

You Again tells a funny story about what can happen when high school rivals meet again.  The film begins in 2002, when Marni (Kristen Bell) is still an awkward high schooler, complete with acne, dorky glasses, and braces.  She is a virtual bully magnet.  The worst of her tormentors is Joanna (Odette Yustman), the school’s “popular girl.”  Her brother, Will, on the other hand, is the most popular guy in school.

 

Now, eight years later, Marni has a successful career at a P.R. firm.  Her life seems to be going well until she finds out that her brother is getting married to none other than Joanna.  To make matters worse, Joanna’s aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver), was the high school bully to Marni’s mom, Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis).  Will the former rivals be able to get over their grudges and forgive each other?

 

While this movie is a little uneven (some of the scenes are a little silly), the movie is, overall, 105 minutes of clean fun.  The casting is really good.  Betty White is particularly funny as Marni’s Grandma Bunny.  There are also a few surprise cameos from Duane “The Rock” Johnson and Cloris Leachman.

 

With no objectionable material and a nice message about forgiveness, You Again is a film that anyone, young or old, can enjoy.

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You Again Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

For some adults, high school is a place they never want to revisit and there are people they never want to cross paths with again.  But what happens if years later a family member decides to marry the one person who made your high school years a bad memory.  That’s what You Again is all about.

 

Marni (Kristen Bell) is an attractive and successful public relations person.  Back in 2002 she had braces, glasses and lots of pimples.  Marni spent her high school years getting picked on by a group of girls led by the popular and pretty Joanna (Odette Yustman).  Now Marni is heading home for her older brother Will’s (James Wolk) wedding and is shocked that his fiancee is none other than Joanna.  The Joanna Marni meets back home seems to be a wonderful person.  However Marni is determined to find out if the new and improved Joanna is just an act.

 

Marni isn’t the only one to face an old high school rival.  Marni’s Mom Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) is equally shocked to meet Joanna’s aunt Mona (Sigourney Weaver) Gail’s former best friend from high school, Ramona.

 

The story plays out with the two pairs of former rivals trying to outdo one another.  The fun starts when the families head over to wedding planner Georgia King’s (Kristen Chenoweth) dance studio.  There are some especially funny lines and scenes with Grandma Bunny (Betty White).  Things escalate at the bridal shower with Marni deciding to show everyone the real Joanna.  It’s at this point the movie loses ground.  There are the clichéd and predictable scenes with dishes being thrown and soup being poured on heads.  The cast is actually funnier when they’re sparring verbally.

 

Predictably all gets resolved in the end.  Both pairs of rivals make peace with one another and the wedding goes ahead but with a silly comedic twist.

 

What makes this otherwise predictable comedy work so well is the excellent casting all around.  I especially liked Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver.  The icing on the wedding cake is without a doubt Grandma Bunny, Betty White.  She gets some of the best lines and delivers them beautifully.  Watch the end for a surprise cameo by Cloris Leachman.

 

You Again is good, clean, though somewhat mean, fun.  It delivers what you expect it would, light entertainment from a really strong cast.  I had fun watching this one.

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You Again Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

 

Now a successful public relations executive, Marni (Kristin Bell) inspires new colleagues with her own triumph over the high school trauma of being bullied by the head cheerleader J.J. Returning home for her older brother’s wedding, she is upset to discover that his bride Joanna (Odette Yustman) was the same J.J., who after her parents died became a nurse and a model of altruism, beloved by Marni’s family, even the dog. Marni’s mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) is also uneasy when she discovers that Joanna’s aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver), now the owner of a chain of luxury hotels, had been Gail’s best friend through school until they fought at the senior prom. The tension gradually builds until everything blows up just before the wedding. Nothing is resolved until everyone comes to terms with how much their lives have moved on since high school.

 

Despite a slight and somewhat predictable script, You Again is worth seeing for its fine cast, which also includes the pride of London ON Victor Garber as the dad and very funny turns by Betty White as the granny and Kristin Chenoweth as the wedding planner for whom life is a cabaret. Also watch for cameos by Dwayne Johnson, Patrick Duffy, and Cloris Leachman, as well as a tune from Hall & Oates.

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Consensus: You Again is an uneven, but entertaining film.  Although predictable, it is saved by an all-star cast of likable actresses, in particular the scene-stealing Betty White. **1/2 (Out of 4)

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