For those who have made it through my prior two reviews of terror by romantic comedy, I salute you. You are certainly stronger and far more resilient than one could ever imagine. But, we always save the best (worst) for last. It is an unspeakable tale of big Hollywood stars, revenge and a great overdose of Disney movie magic. Come in, if you dare and witness the debacle that can only be known as You Again.
We travel back to 2002. Marni Olsen (played by Kristen Bell) is making her part of the video for a high school time capsule. She talks about how she is always picked on and abused by the other children. This leads to an impromptu scene where her arch-nemesis Joanna (played by Odette Yustman) and her friends throw her out of the school. All of this is accomplished while playing We are the Champions and making the loser hand gesture at poor Marni.
Now back at the present and Marni is working for RMK Entertainment, one of the top PR firms. She is taking a couple of days off for her brother, Will’s (played by James Wolk) wedding. But not before she is promoted to VP for the New York office. Excited, she takes off for home. But not before she calls her mother, Gail (played by Jaime Lee Curtis) first.
A short call to her mom while on the plane indicates the identity of Will’s bride to be. It is no other than (wait for it)…Joanna. Dun Dun Dun. However, in her anger she gets cited by the air marshal (Dwayne Johnson cameo) and has to sit confined to a chair for the rest of the flight. Soon, she gets off the plane and is greeted by her mother and family.
Soon, the eventual reunion between Marni and Joanna takes place. But Joanna doesn’t remember anything from their high school days and has apparently turned into a goody two-shoes (nobody in the lower 48 states is buying it). However, Marni keeps jarring at Joanna with no headway. It is just about that time where we meet Joanna’s Aunt Ramona (played by Sigourney Weaver).
Aunt Ramona just happens to be the former best friend of Gail and while they were buds in high school, they competed in everything and Gail always won. For those scoring at home, we have now two rivalries going on. The feuds soon escalate and have the potential to jeopardize the upcoming wedding between Joanna and Will. I mean, even Joanna has replaced Marni as Grandma Bunny’s (played by Betty White) favorite granddaughter. Can these feuds ever reconcile?
I’m simply amazed at this movie. It was breathtaking and exceeded my expectations at every turn. Translation: it was quite possibly the worst movie I’ve seen this decade. One would think with that many Hollywood heavyweights, this would be close enough to a slam dunk. However, it couldn’t be further from a slam dunk, it’s more like an air ball from five feet away. The movie is cast wonderfully, but from the moment they walk out, it is one crazy moment after the next.
This would be okay if they were trying to make this into a screwball movie. Something like Revenge of the Nerds but with women. But it’s confusing. We know that this is a comedy, but the laughs never come and it doesn’t quite go over the edge either. Instead, this viewer is left bewildered and saddened. At the very least, Betty White does do some great lines (despite her limited role) and Jaime Lee Curtis is still a very attractive fifty year old. (she easily outdoes Ms. Weaver) But even those two could have benefited from better writing.
The video is in 2.40:1 widescreen presentation in 1080p resolution. The movie’s video didn’t wow me as much as I hoped. The color is fairly basic and there are some scenes that do show some color but it isn’t spectacular. This movie seems to rely a lot on sets and one would hope they would do more outdoor shots than they did. Oh, and that Betty White chick is hot. (I don’t know how my grandfather wrote that part, but I’ll make sure it is sacked from now on)
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 English DTS-HD track (also included are 5.1 tracks for French and Spanish). This movie does have a lot of dialogue and it is a very clear presentation. But the movie also features a lot of music, and it does have a tendency to overshadow some dialogue. There are also quite a bit of silly sound effects which do use some of the surrounds. It’s an average presentation but suitable for the task. Subtitles are included for English SDH, French and Spanish.
- Automatic Trailers: Disney Blu-Ray 3d, I Am Number Four, Secretariat and Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.
- Following Flickman: On the Set with the Director 7:03: The closest we can get to a behind the scenes featurette. Basically it just introduces the director, Andy Flickman who seems to be a pretty nice and funny guy. Too bad the movie was atrocious.
- Blooper Dance Party 5:18: No real dance party involved, just a bunch of bloopers thrown together. Like the movie, a lot of moments that fall flat.
- Ask the Cast 1:02: Kristen Bell asks Betty White, Jaime Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver various questions in a mock interview session. Way too short, but in a mere minute they manage to do something that the rest of the movie did not make me do. Laugh out loud. Betty White has some awesome lines here.
- Funny or Die 3:02: Kristen Bell, Betty White, Odette Yustman, Sigourney Weaver, and the director go through a little skit to play off some Hollywood type stereotypes. Again, Betty White gets in the best lines but Sigourney has a few nice ones including referencing Avatar.
- Sneak Peeks: Gnomeo and Juilet, Bambi, Pretty Little Liars, Tangled and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 .
- DVD : A DVD for your friends that you want to enjoy this very special moment with. Those with that not so fresh feeling.
I didn’t mention in the review but this movie has a ton of cameos. Dwayne Johnson plays an air marshal, Patrick Duffy plays an old crush of Aunt Ramona and Cloris Leachman plays an awesome part right at the end. In that respect, they did well. The problem is if your cameos are carrying the movie then the movie is a disaster.
The cast is a cast of greats that you would want on any family comedy. But the writing is so off the wall and all over the place that it never gets going. The disc package is good if you were one of the dozen or so that liked the movie and wasn’t connected to the cast and crew. But I couldn’t even recommend to buy this from the bargain bin. It will sap the life from you and leave you wondering why Kristen Bell has yet to do anything decent since Veronica Mars. There is always next time I suppose.