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You Again: Film Review

1:47 PM PDT 10/14/2010 by Kirk Honeycutt

The Bottom Line

Never again, one hopes.

 

 

Actors shouldn't have to work as hard as they do in "You Again."

This wedding comedy from Touchstone Pictures has no inherent laughs, so an extremely versatile and talented cast struggles mightily to make something funny that simply isn't. Who knew you could rope Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White into a movie this lame?

Disney has solid TV ads backing the film, so You Again might open this weekend, but word-of-mouth certainly will kill it.

Moe Jelline's screenplay in a sense combines two comedy subgenres -- wedding and high school reunion movies -- the theory being that such gatherings bring out the worst in people. Jelline imagines that a bright, young PR exec (Bell) flies home for the wedding of her brother (James Wolk, star of Fox's tenuous Lone Star series) only to realize the bride was her worst enemy (Odette Yustman) in high school. Doubling down on this dubious premise -- how could her brother, who went to the same school, not know this? -- Jelline sets up high school "issues" between the down-home mother of the groom (Curtis) and the bride's pretentious, jet-set aunt (Weaver).

If you're guessing everyone reverts to form and it's high school all over again, you've got it. In fact, you need to do very little guessing, as everything in the script is wholly predictable right down to those cat fights toward the end that pitch this movie to the lowest common denominator.

Director Andy Fickman, whose most recent film, "Race to Witch Mountain," showed competency, flounders here with strained acting and bad slapstick marring most scenes. You sense Fickman never got a handle on either the tone or approach to this iffy material.

In every instance, all situations and characterizations are overdone. When a wedding planner drops from a ceiling to perform a theme dance, a character's remark that this is too over the top sums up the movie.

No one emerges from this with anything you'd want to put on a filmography, though Betty White does manage to have the movie's only amusing line.

Then her high school enemy shows up. Oy!