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You Again – movie review
To quote Jamie Lee Curtis’s character from the movie, “Nobody gets through high school unscathed.” This was the whole reason I wanted to watch You Again. While I no longer hold a grudge against my high school rival because I’m not 17 anymore, I could still relate. However, I learned that I really don’t relate, because no matter how I felt about my rival in high school, I could never fathom taking things to such extremes as these women did.
We learn pretty early on that You Again is set in a small town. That’s about the only way that this movie could work–otherwise the coincidences would be too much to bear. But the rivalries in the movie just don’t make sense. I understand why Marni is upset with Joanna, and I get why Ramona is upset with Gail, but the Joanna being upset with Marni and Gail being upset with Ramona doesn’t make sense. Also, the family pairings are quite awkward. The movie wants you to side with Marni and Gail since they’re mother and daughter, but Gail was the one who mistreated Ramona in high school. The movie also played with Marni having a crush on Charlie, her brother Will’s best friend. However, there was no hint to this during the high school scenes, and it feels like it was just thrown in so that there would be a romantic side story. At some point, I gave up on the movie making sense and became amazed at how many former TGIF lineup stars were in the movie. There was a whole Step by Step mini-reunion with Patrick Duffy, Christine Lakin, and Staci Keanan, who were all in a scene together (though they didn’t do much interacting with each other).
There is a hilarious cameo appearance by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He plays a plane security agent who has to detain Marni. He gives her heartwarming advice on bullies. It really is priceless. It is an uncredited appearance, but it was one of the few scenes where I actually laughed out loud.
Betty White was wonderful as Grandma Bunny. Her character made sense. She was the only person in the whole movie that sympathized with Marni over being terrorized in high school while still pointing out that all that was in the past. Bunny is just out to have fun, but she honestly does care about her family. It’s just like every role Betty White has had lately, but these roles are still fun to watch, and this one was no less fun.
Kristin Chenoweth plays a southern wedding planner named Georgia. I love Kristin Chenoweth, but her accent in the movie bothered me. It wasn’t horrible; I have heard worse southern accents. But she would go through whole sentences without a hint of an accent, then suddenly drop a word that had a southern drawl. I’m not sure that her character needed to be southern at all. It added nothing to the story. Other than that, though, she was delightful and, as always, so full of energy. Her character also managed to drop an occasional pearl of wisdom.
Kristen Bell and Odette Yustman had great chemistry as high school rivals Marni and Joanna. Marni is definitely holding a grudge for way too long–she grew up to become successful, while Joanna’s life after high school took a tragic turn. While she was definitely entitled to an apology, she really should have let it go. Not that Joanna was any better. Joanna knew she was in the wrong back in the day, but tried to hide her past, and when she saw that wasn’t working decided to terrorize Marni in the present. It made my head hurt. Maybe because every scorn-filled interaction between these two characters was wholly convincing.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver as Gail and Ramona had the more believable rivalry. Gail and Ramona had been best friends all the way until senior prom, but senior prom was not the start of their problems. Gail was popular and left Ramona in her shadow, so Ramona was jealous and wanted to show Gail up. Ramona was probably even hurt by the lost friendship, which I could see fueling a longer than necessary feud. While Gail being jealous makes zero sense, her reactions to Ramona’s actions are believable.
Overall, You Again is definitely a movie you rent. It’s fun to watch, would make a great guilty pleasure movie, and I can see a party game being made around it, but there’s really no point to watching it in the theater.