Thursday, 18 November 2010

Cinema Review: You Again

It's an unequivocal fact that the vast majority of 'chick flicks', or in this case a film with a central cast consisting of mainly females, are shot down due to their lack or originality, culminating in a tiresome, never-ending string of all too familiar cases of deja vu that inevitably ends its short lifespan on the back burner of painfully truthful reviews from critics that have spent years dissing the tripe that is regurgitated out of Hollywood's stomach.

You Again, the latest from family-friendly director Andy Fickman, is almost no different. An uninspired plot focusing of Marni (Veronica Mars' Kristin Bell), a successful PR pro forced to relive her high school hell once she finds out her brother is marrying the one girl that tormented her throughout her pre-adolescent years. Once her mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) is also forced to relive her past nightmare -- a nightmare in the form of former best friend Sigourney Weaver -- they both end up in a messy, dreadfully embarrassing weekend full of vengeance and enough slapstick mayhem that was undoubtedly originated in one of National Lampoon's hits.

With a passably entertaining plot, the problem the film faces on countless occasions is Moe Jelline's unarguably amateur writing, forcing the film to down-spiral in an all-too-U rated, almost child-inspired route that is consistently vapid and clich├ęd, failing to perform on most levels as the film it could have been if a splash of dirty humour and a more vicious array of nail scratching and name calling was included. It's almost as though Jelline and Fickmans' combined efforts were to make this year's naughtiest Disney film. With that said, the full 100 minutes is as entertaining as any film of the particular rom-com genre.

While Jelline's writing maintains its rather unambiguous state, the strong, well written female leads prove an extravagantly amount more entertaining than anything else to be featured. Bell and rival Odette Yustman illuminate the screen, floundering about the scenes whilst clashing superbly, yet are overly dramatic and camp enough to enforce the clearly melodramatic script. However, as a rivalry goes, the conflict and sheer unabashed nature between Ellen Ripley and Laurie Strode themselves takes the cake with every slice intact, despite the quick descent into a schmaltzy-saccharine manner.

Hardly ambitious, but You Again provides enough harmless laughs to light up a dull Friday night with the girls. A shrill, glitzy but consistently entertaining fair with a man-grabbing Betty White, what's not to enjoy?

3/5

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