Saturday, September 25, 2010

You Again

So Jamie Bell's Marni was a geek in school and picked on by the head cheer leader Joanna, played by tight tummy Odette Yustman. Some years later Marni blossoms and returns home to find that *gasp* her brother is engaged to the tight tummy that made high school a living hell. The concept sounds cool, but in actuality it's pretty lame. There isn't a thought or joke in this movie that hasn't been done better in other places.

It's seems the producers started to watch the movies they ripped off, but were distracted by twitter or something. The big climax of the film involves a fight between Kristen Bell and Tight Tummy in the dining room of a rehearsal dinner. You would think food fight. You desire food fight. Instead they throw plates. Real, heavy, inflict real bodily harm plates.

This wasn't funny, this wasn't intense, it was awkward and weird and you could tell the actors weren't trying to hit each other.

“You Again” is a lego movie. A lego movie takes pieces from all the other movies in it's genre, assembles them together into something desperately trying to resemble an original creation. The movie's concept is pretty original. but once you go beyond the logline, everything is something we've seen before. And will probably see again. Hopefully done better.

It's nothing new. It became a game to list three other movies with cliches “You Again” attempted. There isn't a thought or joke in this movie that hasn't been done.

Another failed cliché comes in the form of a comedy dance off. As the plot called for a set piece, the principal actors agreed to take a dance lesson. Jealousy and music kicks in and everyone takes turns doing ridiculous dance move after ridiculous dance move until the characters we're supposed to sympathize with take it one notch to high and embarrass themselves.

And that's what the movie is. It's a series of scenes in which one character embarrasses themselves. Keeping in mind the movie takes place in the course of 48 hours, the following happened:

Kristen Bell falls in a bunch of mud, gets her hair stuck in gum, gets her contacts carried away by ants (I know), and gets covered in the aforementioned unfunny soup.

Jamie Lee Curtis accidentally breaks a sink and gets soaked in water after dropping an expensive earing down the drain, rips a dress, gets a speeding ticket drag racing, manages to wear the same dress to the rehearsal dinner as Sigourney weaver's character, and oh yes, takes a tumble into a pool in an awkward cat fight. And the dance thing where she tumbles from a trampoline thing.

Unfunny. Awkward. Flat. Things you think would work, only sorta work. This has all been seen before. And movies far more touching and funny have been, and will be, made again. This movie is the kind of movie that exists to be played on TBS two years from now when people are bored in a hospital waiting for an unloved relative to die and the Internet is no where to be found.

A note on the Joanna character. She is played as a legitimate psychopath, at one point dressing in her wedding dress to eat cheesewhiz, and spreading what I hope is beefaroni across the bottom of it. These are not charming things to put in a movie PG movie. They are creepy.

Also, this movie is added to my ever growing list of films to inaccurately depict technology. A film is only as good as it's most minor detail. A character gets “Fall Out 4!” for his Playstation Portable. If that's not offensive enough, it comes in a box that would barely hold a thumb drive. To someone with even a minor knowledge of video games, this annoying and distracting.

There'a really bizarre sequence at the end involving a collapsing tree house and serious injury. It's as if the writer of the film ran out of ideas and started watching coming of age children's films instead of old John Hughes flicks.

PS I know the review is repetitive. Sadly the movie has rubbed on me (lack of) creatively.

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