Saturday, September 25, 2010

Movie Review: You Again

To download to the audio version, right click here and choose "save as..." or "save link as..."

To listen, press the play button on the player below

Lots of choices for the movies this weekend. Animated heroic legendary owls, following someone trying to loose their virginity, a sequel twenty three years after the very successful original or the comedy about high school. Choices, choices. Why couldn't one of these be released two week ago to give me a choice against Resident Evil Afterlife? Well, I chose the comedy!

Marni (Kristen Bell) is a highly successful PR exec who has just been promoted to the VP position of her company's New York office. Before she will be heading to the Big Apple she is going home to participate in her brother's wedding. It's at this time that her mother Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) tells her who the bride is and Marni flips out. The bride to be is Joanna (Odette Yustman) the person who had made the most lasting impression of high school for Marni to say the least.

At home the whole family is taken in by Joanna as a wonderful caring person with no evidence of the devil horns, spiked tail and pitch fork that Marni remembers. Everyone including the dog Cocoa Puff and Grandma Bunny (Betty White) love the bride to be. When Marni tells her mom about Joanna's past, Gail's response is "Everyone deserves a second chance". That is until Joanna's Aunt Mona shows up. Turns out that Mona is actually Ramona from Gail's past and those two have bad blood history themselves as well!

Joanna claims not to remember Marni even though they went to a small school which is pointed out a number of times during the movie. For the four days leading up to the wedding Marni tries to get an apology from Joanna and every attempt to try to show her up or get the apology fails. Eventually the big reveal is done at the worst possible time at the worst possible place. But is revenge a dish best served cold? Does anyone come out the winner in that situation?

My personal reaction to this movie surprised me. The first part of the movie had me in a visceral gut pounding reaction. I could highly identify with the Marni character. I understood what it was like to be bullied and her reaction to coming face to face with the bullier. At my own six year high school reunion (don't ask why six instead of five, it's a screwed up tale), there was someone that I tried to avoid. Gail made the comment to Marni, "nobody gets through high school unscathed" and I agree that is true to different degrees for different people. Ultimately we make the decision what we're going to do to move forward.

There were many cliches in the movie and some genuine funny points. One of the highlights should have been Betty White and even though she was in the top billing for the movie she was under utilized and didn't have all that many scenes. Kristen Chenoweth proved a bright spot as the wedding planner Georgia. Her assistant and ex fiance to the bride Tim (Kyle Bornheimer) gave those awkward laugh moments which he had a chance to perfect on his short lived show Worst Week.

Sigourney and Jamie Lee look wonderful as leading ladies. Jamie Lee has spoken out about the use of plastic surgery and aging in Hollywood. She's a wonderful actress who can pull off movies like Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies and of course Freaky Friday with Lindsey Lohan (go get better Lindsey, we're routing for you!) It would be a waste to not use this talent just because there isn't some silicone or botox under the skin!

If you go to the movie, you'll get treated to a number of uncredited cameos adding some sparkle to the movie. They're sprinkled throughout and they are quite visible so you won't miss them. When the credits start to roll, don't leave immediately, hold on for a few minutes, you'll be glad you did. The movie runs 105 minutes and has been rated PG for brief mild language and rude behavior.

The Movie Monkey

To subscribe to the audio podcast of the reviews via iTunes click here. Audio versions are released the following Wednesday.