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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

You Again

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language and rude behavior
Profanity:Brief mild language
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Social drinking
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence, fighting, broken bones
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language and rude behavior
Profanity: Brief mild language
Nudity/Sex: None
Alcohol/Drugs: Social drinking
Violence/Scariness: Comic peril and violence, fighting, broken bones
Diversity Issues: None
Movie Release Date: September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011

Cute people getting mired in a cute situation? Good. Cute situation getting mired in unimaginative slapstick? Not so much. This is yet another one of those movies about characters who have clearly never watched a romantic comedy. If they had, they would know that: trying to break up a loved one’s wedding two days before it is scheduled is not a great idea (“My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Made of Honor,” etc.). You only embarrass yourself by showing embarrassing footage of the bride at the rehearsal dinner (“27 Dresses”). Wandering off by yourself on a visit to the prospective in-laws often results in getting wet and ruining property (“Father of the Bride”). Taking a wedding-related movie down to a PG instead of a PG-13 is usually a sign that the studio does not have much confidence in it (“Bride Wars”) because the script is weak. The characters in this movie are the only ones on earth who haven’t been there, seen that.

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It is a cute situation. Marni (Kristen with an “e” Bell) is a smooth, capable, professional woman who is proud of triumphing over her teenage years as an ugly duckling, constantly abused by the mean girls led by head cheerleader J.J. (Odette Yustman). Her comfort during those years was her golden boy brother Will. Now Will is getting married to none other than Joanna, formerly known as J.J. The calm, professional Marni instantly reverts to a cowering mess, and then things really get complicated. It turns out Joanna’s only family is her aunt Mona (Sigourney Weaver), who is none other than the former BFF-turned WFF of Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis), mother of the groom — and of course of Marni as well. Add to the mix a wedding planner (Kristin with an “i” Chenoweth), the bride’s ex-beau, a wise-cracking granny (Betty White, of course), a dance-off, a fluffy dog, and a dad who eats his meals blindfolded (okay, that one I didn’t see coming), and you have pieces that never quite work.  

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Just to see the glass as half-full for a moment, I’ll point out that this movie does not have a big but highly touchy client who gets caught up in the chaos or a child to spout out-of-the-mouths-of-babes wisdom.  There are no funny clergy.  There are a couple of genuinely welcome surprise cameos.  Weaver and Curtis do their best to elevate the material and sometimes succeed.  

On the glass half-empty side, there is an icky dentures joke.  Serious injuries are dismissed as blithely as are serious infractions of trust and good judgment.  It is under-written, running out of steam — and ideas — long before it is over.  Ultimately, there’s too much com and not enough rom.  

  • Marcus

    Interview with “You Again” Director, Andy Fickman talking Heavy metal and “Heathers” from ARTSISTdirect.com http://bit.ly/9usXjZ

  • http://www.heyugly4parents.org Betty

    I run a nonprofit organization that helps teens deal with bullying. This movie shows that the key is to get in touch with the emotion that is causing you to bully. In the movie, Sigourney Weaver (Ramona) recognizes, and is able to admit, that she was jealous of Jamie Lee Curtis (Gail). When she got in touch with that emotion it broke down the wall that was holding her back, enabling her to make a heartfelt apology. Once Gail felt the sincerity of the apology she was able to forgive Ramona. It also allowed her to own up to the fact that she too had been jealous of Ramona. This was pivotal to the healing process of not only their relationship, but also of themselves.
    Our nonprofit, Hey U.G.L.Y., Inc. (heyugly.org) endorses “You Again” and highly recommends that anyone who has been bullied or has been a bully rush out and see it. If you can, see the movie with your family. We hope it starts a dialogue about your bullying experiences and, now that you know better, how you will handle situations differently.

  • Pam

    Saw this today with my mother-in-law, because I thought she’d like it (she did). But your C grade is unfortunately true. I wished there could have been more to like about Kristen Bell’s character — I think it would have helped a lot of she would have had a good friend or someone to let us find something to like about her, other than having found herself since high school.
    On the other hand, the movie did raise some interesting thoughts about bullying and how people can change for the better. Wish it could have come in a better movie.

  • http://whatwouldtotowatch.com Christian Toto

    When the best joke in the movie comes from Betty White riffing on Twitter you know you’re in trouble.
    There’s plenty to dislike here, but what grated me the most was the forced cheeriness of the cast. The groom to be couldn’t smile any harder, Jamie Lee Curtis couldn’t mug any muggier … meh.
    Weaver emerges with dignity intact, but Bell doesn’t do her big screen career any favors here.
    And I’m getting exhausted by comedies where every possible bad thing happens to the hero/heroine. Enough!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Right as always, Christian. Great cast, awful script.

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