PG for brief mild language and rude behavior, 105 minutesBlandly enjoyable, predictable "You Again"
“You Again” could might as well as have been called “This Again?” The rom com/coming-of-age-story about a girl forced to come to terms with her high school rival has been done so many times before, it isn’t funny anymore, which is where “You Again” lands. It’s not terrible, just terribly cute, predictable and woefully thin. The lovely and very game cast including Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman and of course the always venerable Betty White do their best to turn the stale script into something fresh, but it grows old quickly.
Bell is Marni Young, a successful PR executive in L.A. who was tormented by the popular girl, Joanna (Yustman) in high school. Now Joanna will marry her older brother Will (Jimmy Wolk) and while Marni has been away focusing on her career, Joanna has become the family’s new best pal, of Marni mom Gail (Curtis), her dad (Victor Garber) and even her Grandma Bunny (White). The only family Joanna has is her Aunt Ramona (Weaver), who as it turns out is Gail best friend-turned-rival in high school and now a successful jet-setting hotel magnate. Marni hopes to expose Joanna for her true colors as the rivalry between Gail and Ramona heats up.
The blandly enjoyable but forced “You Again” from director Andy Fickman (“Race to Witch Mountain”) lacks a sharp comic wit and relies too heavily on stale, predictable episodes strung together in sitcom-like format where everyone hugs it out. The far-fetched script that expects all you to believe this would happen in the first place is the biggest problem. Reality check would have you believe that Marni’s older brother wouldn’t have any knowledge of who Joanna was and then invite one of Marni’s other classmates to his wedding.
But movies don’t usually possess this sense of reality, especially when character actress Kristin Chenowith (Emmy winner for “Pushing Daisies” last year) comes barging in mid-way through to steal the movie as a flamboyant wedding planner, along with comedian Kyle Bornheimer (“Worst Week”) as a funny/creepy ex-boyfriend of Joanna’s (his creepily humorous speech at the wedding all but steals that whole episode).The rest of the cast isn’t nearly as fun but serviceable as they go some standard comic paces. Bell is fun especially in her geeky teenage years, Yustman pretty but empty, Weaver luminous and Curtis her usual perky, slightly annoying self. The only mild surprise is that it doesn’t use comic veteran White more as she gets lost in the fray. She does have a nice scene at the end with fellow comic legend Cloris Leachman, too bad there couldn’t have been more of those type scenes in the film.
There’s not much to “You Again,” it could’ve been resolved easily in the first few minutes. It’s pleasant, cute comic puffery that will easily be forgotten after leaving the theater. At you’ll be humming when you leave: ‘80s band Hall & Oates plays over the credits, which is by far the best part of the movie.