By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders, TrailerAddict
I really like all the people in You Again. They’re just asked to act nonsense. I feel bad for them. They may have had fun doing it. I’d have fun getting paid to act stupid. Then you’d feel sorry for me when you saw what I’d done.
Review: You Again
Kristen Bell is adorable as a pimply high school geek. The slapstick is just not funny, and the rest of the movie follows. It’s not funny just because the behavior is completely inappropriate for mature adults. Comedy is when the right decisions still backfire to create ridiculous situations.
It’s like they’ve programmed jokes as if the audience is trained to follow along. Laugh whenever the kid talks, even if it’s not a joke. Have dad on a crazy blindfold diet because that gives them something to do in the scene. In case you’re not sure what’s supposed to be a joke, they play cartoon music to help you out.
It’s also really sad that someone is still thinking about high school eight years later. I forgot those people my first freshman semester in college, let alone once you’ve become successful in business. Not that they actually use that conflict for humor. They just make stuff up instead.
They have a natural comic conflict and they make stuff up. There’s nothing about actual insecurity rearing its head again as a grown-up. They made up the name of a video game system, of a hotel chain. You know, if you can’t clear PSP, it doesn’t help establish your characters or conflicts to have kids talk about a fake system that’s made up for the movie. It’s all about airplanes and blindfolds and swimming pools. That’s just stuff, it’s not comedy.
The film makes grown-ups bounce around but they’re not doing funny things. They’re just hyper animated. There is not one moment when a character holds still, not even in the “heartwarming” scenes. They go to a crazy dance instructor too. That leads to an embarrassing dance-off scene. That was so embarrassing it made me think of mean jokes. I don’t go negative, but that dance-off took me to a dark place.
I already don’t like movies about families treating each other badly, but at least in Death at a Funeral or Grown-ups they were acting like real A-holes. I don’t even believe the A-holes in You Again. They’re fake A-holes. The only one I believed was Tim, the traumatized ex-boyfriend. See, that’s an exaggeration of a real life insecurity so that it becomes comical.
I can get behind the message of forgiveness and making amends. It’s tough but we all should do it. If you’re making a movie about that, you still have to write characters, and if it’s a comedy there still have to be jokes. I’m just saying, it’s good you know right from wrong, but you’ve got to do something with it.
These next two things don’t really matter. What’s really wrong with the movie is it’s not funny and it’s insulting to think it would be, but there are some amusing script gaffes. In one, Tim is an unexpected guest at a rehearsal dinner, yet he has a reserved seat. And what hospital would let a doctor treat his own son?
This movie brings up a moral dilemma for the actors involved. They’re all respected people but there may be limited work out there. Should they refuse to make a movie with four female leads on principal? I mean, there’s still an audience for it. It’s someone’s fantasy of a screwball disaster, and it helps the economy to create jobs.