Saturday, October 23, 2010

You Again

Keen Competition

Imagine your worst enemy who had tormented you for at least four years, on the verge of becoming an in-law family member through a marriage. You Again is a comedy that explores just that, where Kristin Bell's Marni, who had spent her entire high school life under the bullying radar of Joanna (Odette Yustman, last seen here in films like The Unborn and Cloverfield), realizes her one time nemesis is poised to become her sister-in-law. So the question now is, do you intervene at this juncture to throw the wedding off by telling everyone what a mean person she is, or do you adopt the forgive and forget approach?

As humans, the latter is always a challenge, and the former opportunity just too great to pass up, now being in the position to memorably derail someone else's marriage plans, even if it means having to unintentionally hurt one's family member (Marni's brother Will, played by James Wolk) as a collateral. It's revenge of the nerd, bitchy cat-fight style, made worse when one doesn't acknowledge the past in the hopes of starting a relationship afresh, which is not what the other party would desire, setting up a series of sequences that are played out for laughs, even though they are as predictable as they come in making life miserable for others.

But it's the idea and the thought behind the film that seems a little bit more interesting, as it's really quite relatable since in life we do step on the toes of others, as do others on ours as well. It's what you do with being emotionally terrorized that matters, and the best effect is to turn that into positive energy to transform oneself for the better, rather than to keep on regretting and wanting to right the wrongs, but not sure how to go about doing so. The advice of course is to champion oneself to be better rather than to focus on destroying the other party and before you know it, you become what and who you despise.

The highlight of the show turned out to be the veterans who demonstrate that age is no factor when it comes to having fun. The likes of Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver lend gravitas to the young adult leads of Bell and Yustman, and I wonder if the careers of the latter will be as promising to live up to that of the former few. Of note is the pairing and rivalry of Jamie Lee Curtis' Gail, Marni's mum, and Sigourney Weaver's Ramona, Joanna's aunt, that states the inter-family rivalry goes beyond one generation, and in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, the coming together of two families bring on some complications which provide an avenue for comedy as each pair want to go one up against the other.

Director Andy Fickman, who has helmed a series of family friendly films for Disney such as The Game Plan and Race to Witch Mountain, continues his services here for Disney and I suppose his being chummy with Dwayne The Rock Johnson meant the one time wrestler has got to appear somewhere in the film, even as a cameo, and cranks up a surprise appearance of a singing duo toward the end which by Hollywood standards is what's expected of a comedy.

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