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You Again (2010) Print E-mail
Monday, 07 February 2011
ImageHonestly, I am all for romantic comedies.  There are quite a few titles in the genre that I find tasteful and well done.  “You Again” is definitely not one of them.  This film is such a mess that it makes the recent “Life As We Know” release seem like a five-star release.

It seems as if the studio took a script off the pile on their desk, threw it at relatively novice filmmaker and said, “throw together a nig-name cast and make this film.”  Yes, the film certainly has some big stars in it.  However, that doesn’t keep this film from plummeting to the depths of romantic comedy hell.

I will spare you the speech on how this is an utterly predictable and overly done piece.  To summarize, the film pits two generations of families who share archrivals from high school days back together in celebration of a wedding.  Kristen Bell plays Marnie, the geek of high school with horrible acne and the dorkiest glasses that could be found in the prop house.  Of course, what seems to be about eight years after high school, Marnie is now considered a hottie; blonde, beautiful and successful.  Her archrival is Joanne (Odette Yustman).  Joanne is the stereotypical popular girl in high school, head cheerleader and tormenter of the non-popular high school students, particularly Marnie.

Eight years after graduation, Marnie is returning home for her big brother’s wedding only to find that he is marrying Joanne.  Marnie simply expects an apology and then to move on.  Let’s face it, that is the humane thing to do, but of course then there would be no film.  So Joanne simply acts as if this is the first time that she is meeting Marnie.  It is clear that she is hiding her past from her fiancée.  What is unclear is how Marnie’s brother could not possibly know about Joanne’s wicked past, especially seeing as how close he and Marnie were in high school.  Oh and did I mention that he went to the same high school at the same time and that the cast repeatedly states that the school was not that big.  There are numerous items in this film that show just how pedestrian and conflicted the script really is.
Meanwhile, Marnie’s mother (Jaime Lee Curtis) is battling her archrival, Joanne’s aunt (Sigourney Weaver).  Unfortunately, the parallel between Joanne and Marnie and then Curtis and Weaver is lost.  Joanne tormented Marnie, while Curtis and Weaver were best friends that had a falling out for some unknown reason to be explained at great length toward the end of the film.

The families try to put on their happy faces, but they are always trying to one up or expose each other behind each other’s backs.  It is all fairly childish.  Of course, there is a big blow up and then the resolution, all leading to a peaceful and happy ending.  Another Hollywoodize ending.

“You Again” lacks any type of humor as the attempt at humor is derived from an underdeveloped script and the overreaching of all the actors.  The only saving grace to the film is the brief performance delivered by Kristin Chenoweth.  It is sad to see the talent of Kristen Bell wasted on films such as this and “When In Rome” and “Couples Retreat.”  She is has been type-casted as the fun-loving blonde who can only play romantic comedy parts.  What happened to the days of “Veronica Mars?”

On the plus side, the film has received a lovely video transfer.  The quality ranks right up there with the romantic comedy transfers.  This is an overcooked ham.  The colors are vibrant and lush.  Once again, the fleshtones come straight from the tanning salon.  Details and textures are nicely resolved and provide excellent dimensionality.  The black levels are decent, but they do result in some black holes here and there.  The tuxes at the rehearsal dinner lack much delineation, but it is certainly not the worst I have seen.  Some soft shots creep up here and there, but it seems to stem from the production.  There is no evidence of artifacting, banding, edge enhancement or noise reduction of any kind throughout the film.  This is a terrific transfer that simply suffers due to the nature of the story the quality.  However, if you insist on sitting through this film at least there eye candy.

The sound quality is not up to the level of the video quality.  This is in no part really due to the transfer.  The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track is perfectly fine.  It is the bland sound design that is the cause for this audio experience.  The rear channels are vacant for the most part for more than 95 percent of the film.  They are never enveloping and they most certainly do not provide an immersive experience.  The few times that they do come into play feels awkward.  The mix is entirely front heavy.  Dialogue lacks a punch, but it is clearly audible.  The LFE channel is absent, relying simply on bass management for low frequency output.  Dynamics are poor and the frequency response is limited.  The blandness of the audio is certainly in league with the film itself.

It seems that Disney just wanted to get this film out of the way, so there isn’t much in the way of special features.  Even the filmmakers must be ashamed of this film because there is no commentary.

There are 11 deleted scenes, and for good reason.  “Following Fickman: On Set With The Director” is a odd and somewhat annoying behind the scenes featurette.  “Blooper Dance Party” consists of set antics.  “Ask The Cast” consists of celebrity answered fan questions, but comes in at just one minute long, so there isn’t much there.  “Funny Or Die” is a spoof interview with the cast.  The package also contains a DVD Copy of the film.

“You Again” is a must skip.  If you want to torture yourself, be my guest.  But you have been warned.  The film is aimless and in my opinion humorless.  The video quality is eye pleasing, but the original sound design of the film leaves much to be desired.  It seems quite clear that none of the departments put much effort into this busted romantic comedy.

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